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Best English History Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

Our list of some of the best English History books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

1. The English and Their History (2016)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe English first materialized as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. From the armed Saxon bands that descended onto Roman-controlled Britain in the fifth century to the travails of the Eurozone plaguing the prime-ministership of today’s multicultural England, acclaimed historian Robert Tombs presents a momentous and challenging history of a people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in existence.    Drawing on a wealth of recent scholarship, Tombs sheds light on the strength and resilience of English governance, the deep patterns of division among the people who have…
Author(s): Robert Tombs

2. The Birth of Britain: A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Vol. 1 (2005)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe Birth of Britain is the first volume of A History of the English Speaking Peoples, the immensely popular and eminently readable four-volume work by Winston Churchill. A rousing account of the early history of Britain, the work describes the great men and women of the past and their impact on the development of the legal and political institutions of the English. Indeed, Churchill celebrates the creation of the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system and the kings, queens, and leading nobles who helped create English democracy….
Author(s): Winston S. Churchill

3. History of Britain and Ireland (2013)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfFrom the Roman conquest of 43 CE to the Norman conquest of 1066, and from the Elizabethan age to the Iraq and Afghan wars of the 21st century, DK’s History of Britain and Ireland traces the key events that have shaped Great Britain and Ireland from earliest times to the present day….
Author(s): DK Publishing

4. The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language (2011)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfHere is the riveting story of the English language, from its humble beginnings as a regional dialect to its current preeminence as the one global language, spoken by more than two billion people worldwide. In this groundbreaking book, Melvyn Bragg shows how English conquered the world. It is a magnificent adventure, full of jealousy, intrigue, and war—against a hoard of invaders, all armed with their own conquering languages, which bit by bit, the speakers of English absorbed and made their own. Along the way, its colorful story takes in a host of remarkable people, places, and events:…
Author(s): Melvyn Bragg

5. A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: A One-Volume Abridgement (2011)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe definitive, one-volume abridgment by Christopher Lee.An authoritative survey of the history of English-speaking peoples throughout the world combines intriguing, closely observed biographical profiles—of Alfred the Great, Victoria, Joan of Arc, Lincoln, and other notables—with an account of the key events and issues of the era. The narrative commences fifty-five years before the birth of Christ, when Julius Caesar famously “turned his gaze upon Britain,” and concludes in the year 1900. The beginnings of Parliament, the Church, and the monarchy are all analyzed…
Author(s): Winston Churchill, Christopher Lee

6. A History of the English Language (2012)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfA History of the English Language explores the linguistic and cultural development of English from the Roman conquest of England to the present day to provide a comprehensive overview of the different aspects of its history. This best-selling classic textbook has been revised and updated and encourages the reader to develop both an understanding of present-day English and an enlightened attitude toward the issues affecting the language today. New features of the sixth edition include: * an additional chapter titled ‘English in the Twenty-first Century’, which examines the future of English and…
Author(s): Albert C. Baugh, Thomas Cable

7. Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks) (2016)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfIt’s the revolutionary American history study guide just for middle school students from the brains behind Brain Quest.     Everything You Need to Ace American History . . . covers Native Americans to the war in Iraq. There are units on Colonial America; the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation; Jefferson and the expansion west; the Civil War and Reconstruction; and all of the notable events of the 20th century—World Wars, the Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and much more. The BIG FAT NOTEBOOK™ series is built on a simple and irresistible…
Author(s): Workman Publishing , Philip Bigler, et al.

8. Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, Combined Volume (2012)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfWays of the World is one of the most successful and innovative new textbooks for world history in recent years. This 2-in-1 textbook and reader includes a brief-by-design narrative that is truly global and focuses on significant historical trends, themes, and developments in world history. Author Robert W. Strayer, a pioneer in the world history movement with years of classroom experience, provides a thoughtful and insightful synthesis that helps students see the big picture. Following each chapter’s narrative are collections of primary written and visual sources…
Author(s): Robert W. Strayer

9. History of Britain and Ireland (2013)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfFrom the Roman conquest of 43 CE to the Norman conquest of 1066, and from the Elizabethan age to the Iraq and Afghan wars of the 21st century, DK’s History of Britain and Ireland traces the key events that have shaped Great Britain and Ireland from earliest times to the present day….
Author(s): DK Publishing

10. A History of France from the Earliest Times to the Treaty of Versailles (2014)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThis is a comprehensive history of France from the beginning to the end of World War I. From the preface: “This book was originally intended for members of the American army who naturally would desire to know something of the past of the great French nation on whose soil they expected to do battle for Liberty. The happy but abrupt close of the war vitiated this purpose, but the volume was continued and was extended on a somewhat more ambitious scale to assist in making intelligent Americans in general acquainted with the history of a country with…
Author(s): William Stearns Davis

11. English History Made Brief, Irreverent, and Pleasurable (2006)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfHere at last is a history of England that is designed to entertain as well as inform and that will delight the armchair traveler, the tourist or just about anyone interested in history. No people have engendered quite so much acclaim or earned so much censure as the English: extolled as the Athenians of modern times, yet hammered for their self-satisfaction and hypocrisy. But their history has been a spectacular one. The guiding principle of this book’s heretical approach is that “history is not everything that happened, but what is worth…
Author(s): Lacey Baldwin Smith

12. Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (2018)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfCenturies on, what the Reformation was and what it accomplished remain deeply contentious. Peter Marshall’s sweeping new history—the first major overview for general readers in a generation—argues that sixteenth-century England was a society neither desperate for nor allergic to change, but one open to ideas of “reform” in various competing guises. King Henry VIII wanted an orderly, uniform Reformation, but his actions opened a Pandora’s Box from which pluralism and diversity flowed and rooted themselves in English life.   With sensitivity to individual experience…
Author(s): Peter Marshall

13. Tudor History: A Captivating Guide to the Tudors, the Wars of the Roses, the Six Wives of Henry VIII and the Life of Elizabeth I (2019)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfFive Tudor monarchs sat on the throne of England and Ireland from 1485 to 1603. The family earned their royal rights through strategic planning and battlefield prowess, and kept them because of intellect, strength and sheer determination. The Tudors, one of England’s most powerful and famous royal dynasties, knitted together a fragmented and small island nation that became one of the world’s financial, colonial and technological superpowers. There is so much more to the story of these kings and queens than beheadings, political marriages and the reformation of the church – but those events remain some of the family’s most…
Author(s): Captivating History

14. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (2007)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfA National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year It’s the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson…
Author(s): Steven Johnson

15. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English (2009)

Best English History Books that Should be on Your BookshelfWhy do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”? Why do we say “do” at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful…
Author(s): John McWhorter

Best English History Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some english history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

An Introduction to English Legal History

Author(s): John Baker
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2372510

Norms and Conventions in the History of English

Author(s): Birte Bös, Claudia Claridge
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company, Year: 2019, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2389012

Teaching History and Social Studies to English Language Learners: Preparing Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers

Author(s): Luciana C. de Oliveira, Kathryn M. Obenchain (eds.)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2179269

Youth Movements, Citizenship and the English Countryside: Creating Good Citizens, 1930-1960

Author(s): Sian Edwards
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2179371

Sociocultural dimensions of lexis and text in the history of English

Author(s): Cuyckens, H.; D’Hoedt, Frauke; Petré, Peter
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company, Year: 2018, Size: 7 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2239625

Standardising English: Norms and Margins in the History of the English Language

Author(s): Linda Pillière, Wilfrid Andrieu, Valérie Kerfelec, Diana Lewis
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Year: 2018, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2242629

Landed Estates and Rural Inequality in English History

Author(s): Eric L. Jones
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Pivot, Year: 2018, Size: 1 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2250442

The Success of English Land Tax Administration 1643–1733

Author(s): Stephen Pierpoint
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 7 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2251643

Representations of Book Culture in Eighteenth-Century English Imaginative Writing

Author(s): Joanna Maciulewicz
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2252076

A History of Western Appreciation of English-translated Tang Poetry

Author(s): Lan Jiang
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Year: 2018, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2253526

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are truly chart-busters according to The New York Times, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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