The Heritage Classical Curriculum recommends reading at least three age
appropriate "core" selections, as well as four or more
books from our "supplemental reading" list.
about the methodology associated with the Heritage program can be found
in the Curriculum User Guide.
Young Readers' Core Selections
The British Empire Classical Curriculum has a limited selection of grammar
school histories, and most are simple biographies. The colonial period
in British history is complicated
and it is best to introduce young students to some of the most notable
characters rather than emphasizing comprehensive history.
We recommend reading the final chapters of Our Island Story to
provide an overview of the major events of the period, and then focusing on
enjoyable biographies. The stories of British men-of-action from
the Children's Heroes series will interest
young readers and provide a good foundation for revisiting the era in
Our Island Story (Hanoverians) by H. E. Marshall
The final twenty chapters of Our Island Story covers the period from
the Hanoverian kings to the death of Victoria. Most of the major events of
the era, including the industrial revolution and the rise of British
colonies in North America, India, and Australia are covered lightly.
The Story of Nelson by Edmund Sellar
Nelson was one of the most popular and romantic naval heroes of all history. He
went to sea at an early age, but first made a name for himself at the Battle of
St. Vincent, in 1797. From that time until his death at Trafalgar in 1805, he
led the British navy in several daring and audacious sea-fights, including the
Nile and Copenhagen. His victories gave Britain undisputed control of the seas
at a time she was at great threat from an invasion by Napoleon.
The Story of Lord Clive by John Lang
Robert Clive was a controversial, but extremely effective soldier, who is
credited with gaining India for the British Empire. Though he started his career
as a mere clerk for the East India Company, he was thrust into a series of
adventures during which he showed extraordinary daring, and military genius. He
made a great name for himself, and through a series of astounding victories,
secured a foothold in several of the most important provinces of India.
The Story of Captain Cook by John Lang
Captain James Cook is famous for his discoveries of New Zealand and Australia,
but his contributions to British naval supremacy were many. He was the most
outstanding captain of his age, and the care he took to keep his crews healthy
eliminated the threat of scurvy, the great scourge of sailors. His meticulous
charts, and attention to detail set a new standard in sea-faring and navigation.
The Story of General Gordon by Jeanie Lang
General Charles Gordon was an extraordinarily principled officer during the
height of the British Empire, who accepted several very challenging assignments,
both in China, during the Tae-Ping Rebellion, and in Africa where he opposed the
slavers, and tried to bring order and civilization to the Sudan. He was
tragically killed during a siege of Khartoum, when the British forces failed to
send a relief party to his aid.
Intermediate Readers' Core Selections
Intermediate readers have a large selection of books that
pertain to the British Empire and colonial history.
Volumes 4 and 5 of M. B. Synge's Story of the World
cover 18th and 19th century world history, and are an excellent
introduction to the period. Our Empire Story recounts the history of each of Britain's
major colonies: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South
Africa. The other books that round out our suggested readings cover important topics
not discussed in the Synge or Marshall books: the history of
Ireland, inventions related to the industrial revolution, and the First World War.
|| Struggle for Sea Power,
Growth of the British Empire by M. B. Synge
The Struggle for Sea Power focuses on the age of world
colonization during the 18th century. The histories of European
colonies in America, Australia, South Africa, and India are related, along with
the story of Britain's ongoing ware with France for domination in Asia and North
America. Also covered are the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and
the campaigns of Napoleon. Growth of the British Empire focuses on the
19th century and focuses mainly on British colonialism. It also covers other
world events in that era, including revolutions in South America and Mexico,
the Boer War in South Africa, the exploration of Central Africa, the
Greek and Italian wars for independence, the Crimean War, the opening of trade with Japan and China,
and the rebellion in British India.
Our Empire Story by H. E. Marshall
This book provides a vivid and picturesque account of the principal events in
the building of the British Empire. It traces the development of the British
colonies from the days of discovery and exploration through settlement and
establishment of government. Included are stories of the five chief portions of
the British Empire: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India.
Reign of Queen Victoria by M. B. Synge
This book traces the history of the British Empire during the reign of Queen
Victoria, from 1837 to 1901. Important domestic reforms of the Victorian era
include restrictions on child labor, manhood suffrage, independence for Ireland,
and free trade. Short histories of many of the diverse colonies of Britain are
given, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. The
most important wars of the British Empire, including the Crimean War, the Indian
Mutiny, The Zulu and Boer Wars in South Africa, and the wars in Egypt and Sudan
are also covered.
Peeps at History: Ireland by Beatrice Home
This history of Ireland is wonderfully short and clear, and yet it covers all
the major events in Irish history from the Celtic era and the arrival of St.
Patrick, to the rebellion during the Napoleonic Wars, and the period immediately
preceding Irish Independence. The book is concise and well-illustrated, and an
excellent introduction to Irish History.
Great Inventors and Their Inventions by Frank Bachman
Twelve stories of great inventions, grouped under inventions of steam and
electric power, inventions of manufacture and production, and inventions of
printing and communication. The final chapter introduces the famous inventors of
the early twentieth century. The story of each invention is interwoven with that
of the life of its inventor. Through these stories the reader learns how big
things are brought about and the traits of mind and heart which make for
Heroic Deeds of the Great War by Donald A. Mackenzie
This book does not provide a complete overview of the Great War, but instead focuses on
individual heroes and heroic events that occurred during the war. It provide
brief bios of only a few military leaders, including Kitchener, Joffre, and
Jellico, but for the most part, tells soldiers' stories, and anecdotes of
personal interest. It was published in the year that the Great War came to a
close so it tells the stories of the war with an immediate, rather than a
Advanced Readers' Core Selections
Advanced Readers are likely to already be familiar with the basic outline
of colonial history. If they are not, then several of the intermediate selections,
such as Our Empire Story or The Reign of Queen Victoria provide
good overall introductions.
For those students who are ready for a more detailed perspective,
The Hanoverians discusses the important issues of British government
during the colonial period and gives useful character sketches of several
important statesmen. Other recommended core reading books provide more
in depth studies of Colonial Britain and the Great War.
The Hanoverians by Gaskoin
This book presents an excellent intermediate history of the rise of the British
Empire, from the first Hanoverian king to the
Great War. The first five sections give the
chronological history under the most important Prime Ministers, including
Walpole, William Pitt), the Younger Pitt, Robert Peel, Gladstone and
Disraeli. The later sections provide more detail about such developments as the
industrial revolution, the movement for greater democracy, and government of
the British Empire.
Romance of Empire: India by Victor Surridge
This book is part of the Romance of Empire series, written at the height of the
British empire. It recounts many of the most exciting events in the history of
India, from around the time Britain first established a trading post on the
continent, in the 1600's, until the decades following the Indian Mutiny, in
1857. The treatment of Britain's involvement is in India is somewhat
sympathetic, although many of the greatest blunders and questionable policies of
the British Raj are owned up to squarely.
Romance of Empire: South Africa by Ian D. Colvin
This book is a comprehensive history of South Africa from the first exploration
of Africa by the Portuguese to the Boer Wars. Twentieth century history not
included, but the long struggle between Dutch and English settlers is covered in
depth. As part of the Romance of Empire series, the book is helpful in
understanding the pro-imperial point of view and the complexities of
English Literature for Boys and Girls by H. E. Marshall
A terrific and accessible introduction to English literature by one of Britain's
greatest authors of Juvenile History. All of the major authors and literature of
England are covered, from the Celtic ballads to the nineteenth century greats
such as Dickens and Thackeray. Short examples of most of the literature is
included, also with fascinating biographies.
The Story of the Great War by Roland Usher
This book is written for the General reader and gives a very complete overview
of the Great War It briefly explains the causes and sentiments of the war, along
with a comprehensive overview of the battle strategies. The author notes, that
the vast scale of the war, and the fact that simultaneous battles occurred on
various fronts makes a full comprehension of the war difficult, but then
proceeds to provide an engaging, but thorough review.
Supplemental Reading Selections
We recommend that students who are studying the British
Empire read four or more selections
from our supplemental reading list in addition to their
core material. All selections should be age and interest appropriate,
but student can select their supplemental reading from any
The British Empire library provides a broad selection for
supplemental reading. Our selection of British biographies
are especially rich. Students should have no
trouble finding additional reading suitable to every interest
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