Join us in January as we launch into a new book, A Short History of England, sure to delight the Anglophiles within our ranks, and perhaps even our resident Romanian too. We plan to break the reading up over three months, six chapters at a time, so the busy holiday season ought not interfere terribly with your reading schedule.
Here is a taste of Dale Ahlquist’s lecture on A Short History
Most history books are written to correct other history books. Chesterton’s A Short History of England is no exception. In every other sense, however, it is exceptional to every other history book. Chesterton wanted to write a popular history, that is, “a history from the standpoint of a member of the public.” Most historical accounts of England, he said, were extremely “anti-popular,” that is, they ignored all the large and obvious things, “like the size of Gothic churches” and the fact that the squires in large country houses are not called an abbots but their houses are called abbeys. The difference between a popular history and a scholarly history “is not about the facts but about the importance of the facts.” Chesterton maintained that legend is usually more important than history, because legend is what everyone in a village knows is important, whereas history is only what one person-usually a crank-thinks is important.
I’m told these guys have a full chapter’s coverage…