The first short, single-volume history of the continent, from the author of the bestselling A Short History of England
Europe is an astonishingly successful place. In this dazzling new history, bestselling author Simon Jenkins grippingly tells the story of its evolution from warring peoples to peace, wealth and freedom – a story that twists and turns from Greece and Rome, through the Dark Ages, the Reformation and the French Revolution, to the Second World War and up to the present day.
Jenkins takes in leaders from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, to Wellington and Angela Merkel, as well as cultural figures from Aristotle to Shakespeare and Picasso. He brings together the transformative forces and dominant eras into one chronological tale – all with his usual insight, colour and authority.
Despite the importance of Europe’s politics, economy and culture, there has not been – until now – a concise book to tell this story. Covering the key events, themes and individuals, Jenkins’ portrait of the continent could not be more timely – or masterful.
‘Full of stand-out facts … absolutely fascinating‘ – Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 2, on ‘A Short History of England’
‘Masterly, perhaps a masterpiece‘ – Independent, Books of the Year on England’s Thousand Best Churches
‘Jenkins is, like all good guides, more than simply informative: he can be courteous and rude, nostalgic and funny, elegant, convincing and relaxed’ – Adam Nicolson on ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’, Evening Standard
‘Full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought’ – Michael Wood on ‘A Short History of England’, New Statesman
‘Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book’ – Max Hastings on ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’, Sunday Telegraph