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England

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The pride of the Sackvilles

23 June 2010
Inheritance Robert Sackville-West

Bloomsbury, pp.293, 20

Knole is a country house the size of a small village in the Kent countryside. For the past 400 years it has been inhabited by 13 generations of a single… Read more

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Not our finest hour

12 May 2010
Edward II Seymour Phillips

Yale, pp.679, 25

Ever since Edward II’s deposition and grisly murder in the dungeons of Berkeley Castle in 1327, his reign has always been regarded as a particularly embarrassing interlude in English history.… Read more

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Anything for a quiet life

14 April 2010
All That Follows Jim Crace

Picador, pp.320, 16.99

Jim, Crace’s latest novel, All That Follows, marks a deliberate change from past form. Jim, Crace’s latest novel, All That Fol lows, marks a deliberate change from past form. Gone… Read more

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Strong family feelings

6 January 2010
Crown and Shamrock: Love and Hate Between Ireland and the British Monarchy Mary Kenny

New Island, pp.394, 19.99

Mary Kenny’s survey of Ireland’s relations with the British monarchy is characteristically breezy, racy and insightful, with a salty strain of anecdote. Mary Kenny’s survey of Ireland’s relations with the… Read more

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Continuity under threat

6 January 2010
Unwrecked England Candida Lycett Green

Oldie Publications, pp.218, 25

This handsome and encouraging book is perhaps unfortunate in its title. The suggestion is that the author has been forced to rummage among the wreckage that is England in order… Read more

Poisonous relations

30 December 2009
England’s Last War Against France: Fighting Vichy, 1940-1942 Colin Smith

Weidenfeld, pp.490, 25

‘The Axis powers and France,’ declared Marshall Pétain and Hitler at Montoire in October 1940, ‘have a common interest in the defeat of England as soon as possible.’ Why this… Read more

The actress and the orphan

22 April 2009
Ask Alice D. J. Taylor

Chatto & Windus, pp.342, 16.99

Ask Alice combines two narratives, one beginning in 1904 in the emptiness of the American Midwest, the other in the muffled stasis of Edwardian rural England. The first follows the… Read more

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Order out of chaos

18 March 2009
The English Civil Wars, 1640-1660 Blair Worden

Weidenfeld, pp.192, 12.99

What got into them? For two decades in the middle of the 17th century, English- men transformed their world, overthrowing and eventually executing their king, abolishing bishops and the House… Read more