Middle school level introduction to British history, from the age of the Celts and Druids to the Victorian Age. Many of the most romantic stories from English history are recounted in simple terms for school aged children. Includes a great many famous anecdotes and legends from English history. Stories about Arthur, Alfred, Canute, Lady Godiva, William the Conqueror, Thomas Becket, Richard Coeur d' Leon, and many others English heroes are featured.
Down to the colonial period, if not to the Revolutionary War, English history concerns American children just as much as it does their brothers and sisters who speak the same language on the other side of the broad Atlantic. It is therefore very important that our boys and girls should as soon as possible become familiar with its salient events.
To interest them in their own race, introduce them to their mother country, and make the past as vivid as possible, characters, customs, and places have in this book been depicted principally through anecdotes, many of which have become classical, although not all are admitted into works intended for more mature minds.
The gradual evolution of English law, the growth of liberty, and the various changes in religion are as unintelligible as uninteresting to the average child; so they have been touched upon very briefly, and in the most simple way.
The principal object has been to make pupils so familiar with the prominent characters of English history that these shall henceforth seem like old acquaintances, and, in addition, to use every device to make history so attractive to youthful minds as to rouse their enthusiasm and stimulate them to further study.
Although all the main facts have been given, least space has been allotted to modern times. That is not only because many of the events which have occurred within the past two centuries are more difficult of comprehension, but because any intelligent child is sure to have them brought to his or her notice in other books. For that reason, also, the wars in America are merely mentioned, and pupils are referred to United States histories for detailed accounts of them.
To enrich young minds and to emphasize the need of patient endeavour, courage, faithfulness, gentleness, truthfulness, and all other desirable qualities, all that is good has been heartily commended, and all that is base or dishonourable has been made to appear in an unfavourable light. Nevertheless, it has also been the writer's aim to cultivate a spirit of fairness and charity towards all men.
Much reading and research stand back of this little book, and the author is indebted to historians, biographers, novelists, poets, and artists for the material of which it is composed. It is with the hope that the road to literature and history will seem easier and more attractive, after the way has been made somewhat smoother by these little paving stones, that this book is placed before the public.
The pronunciation of difficult proper names has been indicated in the text, in order to make easier the reading of the book, and to prevent the formation of incorrect habits of pronunciation. The symbols used for this purpose are self-explanatory in most cases; the diacritical marks are explained on p. 343. Besides this, the pronunciation of all proper names is more fully indicated by diacritical marks in the index.