'When histories, too often, have little room for the individuals who are the life and soul of the past, there is a place for a history which is composed of the lives of those who helped to make it what it was - and is.'
From the Series Editor's Introduction
The eight volumes of the series range from Roman to Victorian times and present history as biography, complementing the conventional approach. The enormous popularity of recent TV programmes on major figures, like Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, demonstrates the revival of interest in history and a thirst to know more about the other people featured.
The series is ideal for this, because the authors give more than the bare facts of their subject's lives: they place them in the context of the age, evoke their personalities and evaluate their achievements.
'These well-constructed and informative essays, almost all of which end with specific recommendations for further reading, are masters of their kind…'
Each biographical entry is a complete essay, skilful in its selection of evidence and its methods of assessment. The authors have all been teachers, but it is their view that history which is instructive can also be entertaining.
'Readers … will be instructed, stimulated and …entertained…'
The Times Literary Supplement
The range of personalities is wide and embraces royalty, clerics, politicians, poets, playwrights, artists and inventors. The sequence is broadly chronological rather than alphabetical, making it easier for the reader to gain a sense of the period in which they lived by browsing from one contemporary to another. The index, with its cross-references, facilitates the tracing of further information.
'Highly recommended for all history lovers, students - and indeed historical novelists
Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller