When in the year 1509 a handsome youth of eighteen came to the throne, the hopes of England ran high. His intelligence, his frank, genial manners, his sympathy with the "new learning," won all classes. Erasmus in his hopes of purifying the Church, and Sir Thomas More in his "Utopian" dreams for politics and society, felt that a friend had come to the throne in the young Henry VIII.
-from Chapter VI
American writer MARY PLATT PARMELE (1843-1911) believed that in the typically dry presentation of her day, the reading of history was a "dreary task," and so she set out to remedy that with a series of sprightly chronicles of the past and accounts of the present that encompassed the essential facts necessary for appreciating the state of the world as she saw it.
With this William B. Harison; New York book, she lays bare the "multitudinous characters and details" of the "imposing strand of English Civilization" at the very height of its power at the end of the 19th century. From Caesar's invasion of ancient Britain to Victoria's crowning as Empress of India, this is a brisk and highly entertaining jaunt through the British centuries that condenses the story of one of the greatest empires the world has even seen into a lucid, easy-to-grasp précis.
As Parmele herself said, "A little, thoroughly comprehended, is better than much imperfectly remembered and understood."
OF INTEREST TO: readers of British and world history
Parmele's books available from Cosimo Classics:
* The Evolution of an Empire: A Brief Historical Sketch of France
* The Evolution of an Empire: A Brief Historical Sketch of the United States
* A Short History of France
* A Short History of Germany
* A Short History of Spain
* A Short History of Rome and Italy
* A Short History of England, Ireland and Scotland
* A Short History of Russia