A Short History of England

G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was a prolific writer on many topics. His views of history were always from the standpoint of men and their interactions, and it may fairly be said he saw all of history as a battle between civilization and barbarism. So it has always been, and that remains true even today.

"But it is especially in the matter of the Middle Ages that the popular histories trample upon the popular traditions. In this respect there is an almost comic contrast between the general information provided about England in the last two or three centuries, in which its present industrial system was being built up, and the general information given about the preceding centuries, which we call broadly medieval."

As this quotation taken from the Introduction clearly shows, he is no mere pedant reciting dry dates and locations, but a profound thinker flooding new light onto those modern "myths" that have filled our histories. He is a master of paradox, and the technique of reducing his opponents' arguments to the logical absurdity they have inherent in them. He often turns them upside down. All of which makes his work both a sound subject for reflection and highly entertaining all the while it remains permanently timely.
(Summary by Ray Clare)

Genre(s): Middle Ages/Middle History

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Introduction Ray Clare
Play 02 The Province of Britain Ray Clare
Play 03 The Age of Legends Ray Clare
Play 04 The Defeat of the Barbarians Ray Clare
Play 05 St Edward & the Norman Kings Ray Clare
Play 06 The Age of the Crusades Ray Clare
Play 07 The Problem of the Plantagenets Ray Clare
Play 08 The Meaning of Merry England Ray Clare
Play 09 Nationality & the French Wars Ray Clare
Play 10 The War of the Usurpers Ray Clare
Play 11 The Rebellion of the Rich Ray Clare
Play 12 Spain & the Schism of Nations Ray Clare
Play 13 The Age of the Puritains Ray Clare
Play 14 The Triumph of the Whigs Ray Clare
Play 15 The War with the Great Republics Ray Clare
Play 16 Aristocracy & the Discontents Ray Clare
Play 17 The Return of the Barbarian Ray Clare
Play 18 Conclusion Ray Clare