Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Shelf at a Time - Shelf 7

All history on this shelf, some for children, some for adults. The adult books are five volume edited / abridged set of Butler's Lives of the Saints, with additions of more recent saints, and three volumes of Simon Schama's History of Britain. For children there are four volumes of A History of Mankind: a Picturesque Tale of Progress by Olive Beaupre Miller, the first two volumes of The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, Hillyer's Child's History of the World, Stories from French History by E.Price, A History of Europe by H.E.Marshall and a few other oddments. Then there are these three:

A Child's Day Through the Ages by Dorothy Margaret Stuart. This was first published in 1941 and was reprinted several times - the copy I have is a 1962 reprint. There are fourteen chapters, each describing a day in a child's life, beginning with a lake-dweller in 3500BC and ending with a girl in Edwardian Britain.

Kings and Things by H.E.Marshall. This is a lighter, easier retelling of British history intended for younger children than Our Island Story. In this book the author has a severe case of Capital Letter Syndrome, but combined with the breezy style it makes for a thoroughly unique take on history. For example, on William the Conqueror:

When William heard that Harold had been made King of England he got into such an Awful Rage that even the Most Important People were afraid to go near him. Then he went away and sulked by himself. After a bit he got over his sulking. Then he called all his Most Important People together and said: "Come on, we'll go to England and do some Conquering." But the Important People weren't very keen to go. "It's all very well for you," they said; "you'll be made a King, but we'll just get killed."
My copy is an old and tatty one, but Kings and Things is now back in print thanks to Galore Park.

The World's Story by Elizabeth O'Neill is my favourite narrative history of the world for children. It is more detailed than Hillyer's Child's History of the World and more lively than Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World. It has also long been out of print. A nice touch is that the illustrations are all of historical items and places. The author was a university lecturer in history during the earlier twentieth century, and I believe was Anglo-Catholic. The bias of the book seems to be more towards the Catholic side.

1 comment:

Melissa Wiley said...

Severe Capital Letter Syndrome, LOL!!!

The O'Neill history book sounds quite appealing...