I have been listening to G.K. Chesteron’s “A Short History of England” from librivox.org and am quite enjoying it; so much so, that I think I should read it in text, as there is so much to savor that is not possible when briefly hearing it, or when missing a word. However, I think the title is a misnomer. In my opinion, the book should have been entitled “An ‘Opinionated‘ History of England,” I think.
The author certainly loves to use paradox in the manner of Charles Dickens. One of the most famous lines in English literature is the opening of Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… .” Chesterton uses this type of paradox construction about a dozen times in each and every chapter, it seems. I feel he overdoes it a bit.
However, … this lode star of life I love: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
Here is an even SHORTER history of England: \”The History of England\” by Jane Austen.