From the mysterious Druids and noble King Alfred to the notorious Henry VIII and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Charles Dickens traced his country's history for the benefit of young Victorians.
Written with the beloved storyteller's customary panache, this series of historical vignettes reads like a fast-paced novel, rich in anecdotes and colourful stories. Dickens' unsparing, witty, and opinionated perspectives on the great pageant of English history also offer insights into his own political and religious attitudes.
This lively narrative was dedicated by the author to his children, in hopes of whetting their appetites for more substantial works of history. The book was included in the curricula of British schoolchildren well into the twentieth century, and it remains a treat for all ages. Alice Munro remembered it fondly as "the first glimpse I ever had of history, before I knew what history was … the whole story has the charm and recklessness and exaggeration of a spellbinding fairy tale."