Civil War: The History of England - Peter Ackroyd

One of the many things the BBC Comedy Show Horrible Histories taught me is that I really like learning about the British Royals. So when this book came up, starring one of its (the tv-series') heroes, Charles II, I just had to read Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution when it was on Netgalley.


That, and I had read a number of super praising reviews from friends. Luckily, they were right and the book didn't disappointed. I really liked it. I don't know that much about that period, so I just assume he's done his homework. Most of the book is taken up by James I and Charles I (and the Civil War), after which Charles II and James II are discussed more briefly. I learned a great deal about England in the seventeenth century as this was no part of the History-curriculum at my school. (I try to remember WHAT was a part of the curriculum, but nothing comes to mind except the super obvious Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and cavemen).


The great achievements of this book are not just what you learn from it as well as how much I enjoyed reading it. I like reading about history, but I'm little experienced with reading non-fiction so sometimes after I time I feel like the book starts to drag and I have to struggle to finish them, even if they are otherwise wonderful. This fortunately never happened with Rebellion, as I enjoyed it from start to finish. The writing was a pleasure to read too.


I think some interest in the period will be necessary, of course, but even when you're perhaps not experienced reading histories or feel like non-fiction isn't really something for you; I would say: 'Try Rebellion, it doesn't read like one.' Would definitely recommend. I'm planning on reading the earlier instalments in the series as well.


Rebellion is the third book in a series on The History of England. The other books are called Foundation and Tudors.


Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.