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Great Tales from English History, Volume 3    by Robert Lacey order for
Great Tales from English History, Volume 3
by Robert Lacey
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Robert Lacey, the prolific author of a dozen-and-a-half fascinating books about English history, has now produced another great installment of the Great Tales from English History series. In Volume 3, Lacey treats readers to sixty short essays in which tantalizing tidbits of British history are showcased and examined.

Beginning with John Locke (of political philosophy fame) in 1690 and concluding with Francis Crick (of DNA fame) in 1953, Lacey's anecdotal morsels cover the highs and lows of three centuries in Britain. You can read about Jethro Tull's innovative contributions to agricultural technology in 1701, Dick Turpin's legendary infamy on the highways in 1739, and the cat-and-mouse capture of the murderer Dr. Crippen in 1910. If you prefer reading about royalty, you can savor the details of King George III's peculiar form of madness, Prince Albert's grandiose Crystal Palace, and Edward's stunning abdication from the English throne in 1936. On the other hand, if you prefer reading about women's contributions to English history, you can read about Mary Wollstonecraft's revolutionary feminist ideas in 1792, Annie Besant's tragic contributions to workers' rights in 1888, and Edith Cavell's powerfully unyielding commitment to patriotism in 1915.

In short, whatever your interests, you're certain to find fascinating reading in this latest (and apparently final) volume of Great Tales from English History. You needn't be an Anglophile to appreciate all the wonderfully interesting mini-essays. You will enjoy the stories, the fascinating facts, and the eclectic collection of personalities as they come alive in Lacey's tales. Lacey is a superb writer, and even the most unlikely subjects are enlivened and enriched by his exemplary prose. Read and enjoy!

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