Jane Austen (1775 - 1817) wrote six famous books including Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Despite being only moderately successful in her lifetime, her six novels are famous and have been adapted for television and film on numerous occasions.
Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870) was the author of classics such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities. His first commercial success was The Pickwick Papers which became a publishing phenomenon and was easily the most widely read literary work in English to that date. Such is his enduring legacy that none of his books have ever gone out of print.
This slim book brings together two very different perspectives on the history of England and are interesting in what they reveal about the authors as much as what they say about past kings and queens of England. Jane Austenâ€™s history was written when she was only sixteen and is satirical and often very funny. It shows her future novel writing talent and ironic style which she develops later in her novels such as Pride and Prejudice. Charles Dickensâ€™ history was written when he was already an established novelist and therefore is a more mature piece. It is more masculine in nature, full of battles, villains and heroes but he also has great humanity and often takes the side of the people and not the rulers. David Starkeyâ€™s introduction is brilliant and draws the two histories together in a fascinating way.