David Howarth



This is another little jewel in history telling by author David Howarth .The same author of Nelson's excellent biography, which I enjoyed so much a few years ago, so I hope to read more by him very soon. I began the book, to be honest, a little prejudiced against Harold and all his English family, and favoring -from what I had picked up here and there- the Normans and king Edward. So when right from the beginning the reader is warned of just the opposite prejudices by author, but so meekly and honestly admitted to the reader, I was put on the defensive though held my judgment. I was won to the author's side in a few chapters. It is marvelous how history can be read so differently if we mind to pay attention to the different points of view. And the author does provide alternative possibilities, even if putting forward his own personal explanation. And this is something very seldom seen in history books. I am so sick of arrogant, preachy historians.

It starts by letting us see and feel the time and place from the level of the common villager, picking a representative little village in the south of England. The author describes the sociological composition of that town, their daily labors and hopes, their festivities and routines. Once the picture is laid and we feel very much a part of that environment, the writer goes to tell about the circumstances surrounding the main characters in the plot -so to speak, around that year. What at an achievement! It never gets messy, and it pithy as can be. The author really has a knack for organization and pithiness.

I will dearly recommend this book to history fans and to scholars that can't write.


"Es cierto que el Romano es libre de hacer todo lo que quiera. Pero también lo es que tiene que soportar las consecuencias de sus actos. No importa que se haya equivocado, que le hayan engañado o incluso forzado: un hombre no se deja forzar: etiamsi coactus, attamen voluit. Es libre; pero si distraído, imprudente o atontado, prometió pagar una determinada cantidad y no puede pagarla, se convierte en esclavo de su acreedor."

Rudolph von Ihering

“Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them.”

Frédéric Bastiat

On the true nature of the Castro Revolution in Cuba: "The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti -In the Pirate's Den

La anarquía, es decir, la ausencia de fuerza estatal, no es una forma de Estado, y cualquiera que acabe con ella por el medio que sea, el usurpador nacional o el conquistador extranjero, rinde un servicio a la sociedad. Es un salvador, un bienhechor, porque la forma más insoportable de Estado es la ausencia de Estado.

Rudolph von Ihering

"El envidioso está afligido no solo por sus males propios, sino por los bienes de los demás."  -Hipias

[la norma de conducta de los progres] "No hacer nada que alguien pueda envidiarme." -Hipasos




Seguimos a la espera de la reedición de este importante libro del gran escritor español José Pla

Historia de la Segunda República.


También a la espera de este importante libro del genial Rafael Abella.

Finales de enero, 1939, Barcelona cambia de piel


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