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"History clings tight but it also kicks loose. Disruption as much as persistence is its proper subject".
If only it had been dispensed Simon Schama-style at school.
His enthusiasm without being overbearing or overwhelming is astonishing, considering his erudition and esteem world-wide.
He puts human stuffing into remote cardboard cut-out progenitors of our dynasty and destiny, realistically conveying spiritual and temporal needs and failings.
Indeed, immature princes, homosexuals, royal mistresses, divorce and remarriage did not originate with the 20th century, and the quotidian norm of verbal and literal back stabbing and saving one's skin, hypocrisies of Church and State and horrible death from battle have been conspicuous from the outset.
"War's plunder was the glue of loyalty binding noble warriors to the king".
British history turns out to be a show of many foreign parts and Timothy West's enlightening reading irresistibly spurs involvement with Roman government, Anglo Saxon confusions, doings of French and Spanish nobility, Henry VII's manoeuvres and Elizabeth I's intrigues--specifically the latter's spider-and-fly activities with turbulent Mary Stuart.Schama says in his absorbing introduction "History should be not just instruction but a pleasure", This production fulfils that principle, and is utterly marvellous.
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