BLTC Press Titles

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The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

England's world empire

by Alfred Hoyt Granger



This is not to be in any sense of the word a "War Book," although it owes its conception to thoughts arising out of the great conflict which is shaking the foundations of civilization. We read much these days of what will take place after the war, but what we read are only the opinions of individuals; what the consequences will be remains concealed in the mind of God. Here, in America, public opinion depends largely upon the dictum of the daily press, and the preponderant sympathy for the Allies, and especially for Great Britain and France, is both natural and, to a degree, excusable. With Great Britain we have common language and common traditions, and witb^ France we have the bond of gratitude and sympath^^. for generous help in our hour of need. Sentimeiv^ rather than reason, has always controlled the syr*-^^ pathies of the human race. When the war is there will be the beginnings of a New World, a wotr--% in which America must play her part. That she rtv^^^^. play her part nobly is the hope and prayer of niilliQ^^^^"^^. of her sons and daughters. "^^^

In order to prepare rightly for the future, it^ necessary rightly to understand the past, and with the earnest hope of helping, in a small way, ^ proper understanding of the past that I have told

story of how Great Britain has built up her world-wide empire and how she has protected the nationality of weaker states. For this purpose I have consulted only English authors of wide reputation, or those, as in the case of Mr. Shuster, of Anglo-Saxon ancestry. For myself, I can say with pride, that all of the forebears of both my parents are of English stock, but as they settled in New England nearly three hundred years ago and have played their parts in the army, the navy and various departments of state, they have called themselves Americans in the best sense of the word. Because of my intense love for this America of ours, and my belief in the ideals and principles upon which this Nation was founded, I think it the bounden duty of every American citizen so to fortify and strengthen his knowledge of the past that he may be "prepared," in the highest sense of the term, to serve his country and aid her by every means in his power to solve the problems now facing her. That this brief account of how England grew into the mighty British Empire of today and the lessons which our country may learn from such a growth may be of help to some other American, is my earnest wish.

My deepest thanks are due to those who have so mightily helped me, those writers who are dead and those who are still amongst us. Without their aid this story could never have been told.

Alfred Hoyt Granger.

Philadelphia, 1916.



AT no period in her long history has England occupied so weak a position in the eyes of the world as she held when Elizabeth came to the throne, on November 17, 1558. The house of Hapsburg controlled the world, and while Philip of Spain, the most prominent member of this house, did not hold the title of Emperor as had his father, Charles V, his power was of greater extent and far more absolute than that of any Emperor. By the death of Queen Mary he lost control of England, but it is said that even before Mary's death he had conceived the idea, in such an event, of marrying Elizabeth and thus retaining the English crown as a part of the Hapsburg dominions. That his personal feeling towards Elizabeth was onei of friendship he had shown many times, when Mar^would have welcomed and abetted any scheme to put her out of the way. The middle of the Sixteentlr^ Century was a period of tremendous upheaval. Th.^ counter-reformation, which had been brought into e^^ istence by Protestant fanaticism, was spreading ov^j^ Central Europe, and after the council of Trent, whici"j^ had purged and cleansed the Catholic Church and r^_^ moved practically all of the things against which tV^^,^^ reformers protested, it seemed likely to restore uniformity in religion. Elizabeth came to the throne supported by Protestant nobles and a strong popular feeling in her favor. She was twenty-five years of age, and had been educated in the best of all schools, danger and adversity. She realized fully the weakness of her title to the crown, because of the brand of illegitimacy which Rome and her mother's divorce and tragic death had cast upon her, but she was fully determined to maintain her power against the world.

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