By Robert Lacey
From William and Mary to Watson and Crick, Robert Lacey's ultimate quantity of serious stories from English heritage bargains up the main stirring English tales of the previous couple of centuries. those are the years during which nice Britain got here into being and the British Empire reached its zenith. also they are years of serious technological advances – from the seed drill to the spinning jenny and the locomotive – and of leaps and limits in political and ethical philosophy.
In his trademark kind, Lacey tells the stories that formed a country, revisiting a few of England's such a lot memorable personages: mad King George III, Samuel Johnson, Captain cook dinner, Victoria and Albert, Charles Darwin, and Winston Churchill. along them, Lacey introduces a few lesser identified ancient figures: the feminist crusader who used to be trampled by means of the king's racehorse, for example, or the wife-murdering health care professional who used to be tripped up via the recent know-how of telegraphy. Royal households and well known scientists, highwaymen and battle heroes – via unforgettable characters, the main pivotal moments of recent English historical past unfurl.
This is background with velocity, punch, and character. Robert Lacey's pinpoint accuracy in examine is matched through his unerring intuition to unearth the tales in the back of the headlines of historical past – tales that, with this quantity, see the end result of his energetic, magisterial, and occasionally mischievous trilogy of England's historical past.
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Additional info for Great Tales from English History, Volume 3: Captain Cook, Samuel Johnson, Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, Edward the Abdicator, and More
A moment’s clatter upon the stones and it's left at the back of. ’ Ainsworth made the imaginary Black Bess the trustworthy heroine of his tale, vividly describing how she gamely stored her grasp prior to the chasing posse, and in simple terms sank to her knees while she had ultimately carried him to protection: ‘Bess tottered, fell. there has been a dreadful gasp – a parting moan – a chuckle; her eye gazed for an quick upon her grasp with a demise glare . . . a shiver ran via her body. Her center had burst. ’ the 1st version of Rookwood bought out speedily and used to be reprinted in August that 12 months. ‘Dauntless’ Dick Turpin and his mare quickly grew to become the topic of renowned prints and illustrations, and it was once now not lengthy ahead of authenticating anecdotes sprang up alongside the good North highway, the place innkeepers similar how Turpin had refreshed his courageous mount with ale – they can even produce the traditional tankard from which Black Bess had under the influence of alcohol. right here was once the gully she had cleared in a single stride, there has been the five-bar tollgate she had vaulted comfortably – Dick Turpin and the gallant black mare he by no means rode had handed into background. GOD keep THE KING! 1745 God keep our noble King! God store nice George our King! God shop the King! ship him triumphant, satisfied and wonderful, lengthy to reign o’er us, God keep the King. while those phrases have been SUNG IN public for the 1st time in September 1745, the frightened crowd that crammed the London theatre rose to their toes, clapping wildly and calling for encores. a number of types of the track were round for your time, in compliment of a couple of kings – the deposed James II between them. yet in this hot autumn night, the tune used to be addressed to the Hanoverian monarch of the instant, George II, and the phrases have been sung with distinct fervour. It used to be successfully a prayer, due to the fact that at that second ‘Great George, our King’ relatively did stand short of saving – besides the viewers and all these whose pursuits have been associated with the survival of the German Protestant dynasty. That July, the 24-year-old grandson of James II, Charles Edward Stuart, the younger Pretender, whose target was once to make himself King Charles III, had landed in Scotland. via August the clans had rallied to his reason, and in September the Highlanders marched on Edinburgh. while nervous Londoners have been making a song ‘God shop the King! ’ the Scottish capital was once going Stuart. Twenty-thousand excited voters cheered the claimant into the town, shouting out the romantic nickname through which the Prince will be recognized to heritage – ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’. Fine-featured and willowy with rosebud lips and limpid brown eyes, Charles Edward Stuart used to be bonny certainly. Born and taken up in Rome by way of his father the outdated Pretender, who had made his personal bid for the throne in 1715, Charles Edward Stuart spoke 3 languages (English, French and Italian), and had a roster of accomplishments that incorporated using, taking pictures, royal tennis, shuttlecock (modern badminton), dancing, golfing and enjoying the cello. He additionally had the knack of bearing himself like a king: he seemed quite brilliant while donning a kilt and marching among the ranks, kicking up airborne dirt and dust and dust along with his males.