A Short History of England

Read by Ray Clare

(4.1 stars; 92 reviews)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was a prolific writer on many topics. His views of history were always from the standpoint of men and their interactions, and it may fairly be said he saw all of history as a battle between civilization and barbarism. So it has always been, and that remains true even today.

"But it is especially in the matter of the Middle Ages that the popular histories trample upon the popular traditions. In this respect there is an almost comic contrast between the general information provided about England in the last two or three centuries, in which its present industrial system was being built up, and the general information given about the preceding centuries, which we call broadly medieval."

As this quotation taken from the Introduction clearly shows, he is no mere pedant reciting dry dates and locations, but a profound thinker flooding new light onto those modern "myths" that have filled our histories. He is a master of paradox, and the technique of reducing his opponents' arguments to the logical absurdity they have inherent in them. He often turns them upside down. All of which makes his work both a sound subject for reflection and highly entertaining all the while it remains permanently timely.
(Summary by Ray Clare) (6 hr 50 min)


Introduction 8:18 Read by Ray Clare
The Province of Britain 22:11 Read by Ray Clare
The Age of Legends 18:04 Read by Ray Clare
The Defeat of the Barbarians 21:31 Read by Ray Clare
St Edward & the Norman Kings 25:30 Read by Ray Clare
The Age of the Crusades 23:03 Read by Ray Clare
The Problem of the Plantagenets 25:27 Read by Ray Clare
The Meaning of Merry England 32:05 Read by Ray Clare
Nationality & the French Wars 25:05 Read by Ray Clare
The War of the Usurpers 23:20 Read by Ray Clare
The Rebellion of the Rich 30:00 Read by Ray Clare
Spain & the Schism of Nations 20:14 Read by Ray Clare
The Age of the Puritains 27:16 Read by Ray Clare
The Triumph of the Whigs 26:47 Read by Ray Clare
The War with the Great Republics 23:42 Read by Ray Clare
Aristocracy & the Discontents 24:21 Read by Ray Clare
The Return of the Barbarian 26:32 Read by Ray Clare
Conclusion 7:23 Read by Ray Clare


A Short History of England

(5 stars)

A very interesting book by G. K. Chesterton. Short, as the title announces, but encompassing many years. I learned and understood a lot, taking into account the author's point of view. I intend to listen to it again, after brushing up on some of the names and events he mentions, with which I am unfamiliar, names especially. Then I will know better how much I can agree with him on some issues. I do really appreciate the ending. The reader, Ray Clare, did an excellent job. I never heard him before, but look forward to finding more books read by him in the future. All in all, the hours of listening were well employed and enlightening. Thank you very much LibriVox for bringing this work to the public.

Good narration, great author, dated content

(3 stars)

Chesterton is a great author and this narrator does a fine job. However, the subject matter, in Chesterton's usual style, is more of a commentary on English history than an English history. Chesterton is always Chesterton, but this book is inaccessible for those who don't already know English history. In context, I believe that Chesterton must have been replying to the historical interpretations or current authors, like John Richard Green, who are today all but unknown, especially for Americans.

Great read!

(5 stars)

His perspective is so fresh and challenges those I have held and those I've generally encountered regarding English history...but I believe his ideas are well founded and demonstrated. This book is a must finish, as the whole of it lays out his positions, and you would miss those and misunderstand him if you only look at this chapter or that. It would be like seeing the foundation of the Eiffel Tower being poured and believing you have seen and appreciated the final product.

(4 stars)

2016, USA, Running for office as President are 2 people that 400+ years ago couldn't have bought enough votes to become a rat catcher !!! And, they both became the front runners in a supposedly 2 party system, of the most corrupt dregs of greed, vice, and sell outs ever. If you do nothing else prior to voting read/listen to the last 4 chapters before you go out and vote. It's scary, and not in a good way !!!

Outstandingly read!

(5 stars)

Not to be missed. This book is brought to life by an outstanding reader, an American no less. There are other potential English classics butchered by an Englishwoman reader, no less. Go figure!

Another excellent work by GKC

(5 stars)

I'm not really a fan of history generally but this was fun and informative, as always.

(5 stars)

Well spoken. The content is so interesting that I tracked down a used hardcopy so I could dive in deeper.

loved it, well read.

(5 stars)

speaker is good, audio quality is average. book is very good.