The second volume of Schama's history takes Britain from 1603 (the death of Elizabeth I, ascendance of James I) to the end of the American Revolution and the takeover of the Indian subcontinent. The petty, bloody, vicious treatment that English people suffered at their own hands (to say nothing of the Irish and Scottish wars) through the era of Cromwell and the Restoration receive plenty of attention, but Schama also gives a vivid picture of the slave trade and Caribbean sugar plantations, and the bewildering politics of the origins of the Raj. Our "French and Indian War" (really a near-world war fought between Britain and France for future colonial dominance on at least four different continents) and the genesis of the American Revolution receive good coverage as well. Engagingly written with plenty of illustrations, but not quite enough maps.
This report prepared by David Loftus