Macaulay, Thomas Babington: The History of England from 1485 to 1685.

Macaulay, Thomas Babington - The History of England from 1485 to 1685. Folio Society. 1985, 1st thus.

'A great historian would reclaim those materials which the novelist has appropriated,' declared Macaulay when holding forth about the way England's history ought to be written. One should not, he went on, confine oneself to battles, sieges, negotiations and politics: one should intersperse the details which are the charm of historical romances. 'Cocksure Tom', as he was known to his contemporaries, followed his own advice to the letter. He plundered romances, ballads and chronicles for atmosphere and local colour; his style was, in his own words, 'pellucid, amusing and readable'; he was outrageously opinionated, and often inaccurate. Yet even his great enemy Lord Acton called him 'nearly the greatest of English writers'. Although his History of England covers only the great revolution of 1688 and its aftermath, his essays and articles range widely over the events and charac- ters of earlier times. These writings could never comprise a comprehensive history of England from 1485 to 1685, but they undoubtedly provide a brilliant and animated commentary on many aspects of it. From them, Peter Rowland has deftly constructed a lively Prologue to the History, which can either stand on its own, or as an Introduction to the main work (which is to be published as an extra in 1985/6) (Folio Society). 10" x 6", 338pp plus 12 plates, dark green buckram with gold lettering and decoration to front board and spine, hardback. Index. Illustrated with monochrome contemporary portraits and prints.

This has a binding fault in that the text-block was not pushed back into the case tightly enough along the its front-edge when the book was bound, consequenlty it is a bit 'wobbly' in the case, especially at the front (it's not really anything major and would probably be missed by most dealers); otherwise fine; complete with very good (shelf-wear) sound, slip-case; still has its sign-up a new member post-card.

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