Ranke's History of England
Last Updated: 20080918
Leopold von Ranke, the great German historian, wrote scholarly, comprehensive, just and very readable histories of France and Italy, but those adjectives apply most to his History of England, Principally in the 17th Century. It was translated into English almost immediately after it was written, and it remains, along with Samuel R. Gardiner's, the best of the histories of the early Stuart reigns.
Because Ranke wrote for an audience that was much better informed about English history than are most current readers, I have found it useful to add some annotations to Ranke's text. These annotations are of two types:
- Biographical and geographical details about people and places mentioned. These annotations are intended to identify the annotated names sufficiently for readers to do further research as they find the need. These notes are marked with a small superscripted '?' like this one: ?.
- Explanatory notes. These annotations are intended to fill in background that Ranke did not think his audience needed. Audiences change, and I think that many modern readers will find some value in these notes. They are marked by numbers in square brackets, like this one: .
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