Peter Ackroyd, world-renowned historian and writer, captures the essence of war and victory in his fourth volume of The History of England. In Revolution, Ackroyd traces William of Orange's accession following the Glorious Revolution to the Regency, when the flamboyant prince of Wales ruled in the stead of his mad father, George III. England was also at war with France - again - a war that would end with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.
Late Stuart and Georgian England marked the creation of the great pillars of the English state. The Bank of England was founded, as was the stock exchange. The Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation. And parliament became the sovereign body of the nation with responsibilities and duties far beyond those of the monarch.
These years saw a cultural revolution, too. Newspapers flourished and the first English novel was born. Richard Price wrote on civil liberties, while Adam Smith wrote the founding text of modern economy. Gin flowed freely, and shops, as we know them today, began to proliferate in towns and villages. During a time of extraordinary and unprecedented technological innovation, England utterly and irrevocably transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot, steel, and coal.
Beginning in 1688 with a revolution and ending in 1815 with a victory, Ackroyd brings England alive.
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