This book has been on my shelf for a couple of years. Soon after I bought it I read it and got about halfway through but for some reason I never finished it. All in all this book was a solid and engaging read but 1500 years of English history in 300 pages is a lot to take in. When the book covered eras that I didn't already know very much about (the Norman kings, the late Stuarts) I found it difficult to follow. Although I appreciate the enormous effort that must have gone into making such a concise summary I think I would have enjoyed the book far more had it been about 100-200 pages longer. The extra length would have allowed for a slower pace and Jenkins would have been able to write far more about the cultural changes in England. I also wish that the book had started off at an earlier point because I would have loved to have learned more about life in Britain under Roman rule. This book is great for what it is and I definitely learned some interesting facts but I would have preferred it if the book had had more depth.
P.S. I've just learned from Wikipedia that Simon Jenkins' ex-wife is Gayle Hunnicutt who played Irene Adler in the ITV Granada Sherlock Holmes series. If you're a Holmesian like me then that might be of some interest to you.