I first read ST Bindoff’s Tudor England as a teenager. I’d picked it up in a second-hand bookshop, which was hardly surprising as it is in my experience outdone only by the orange-jacketed Penguin edition of The Way of All Flesh for second-hand bookshop ubiquity.
The book is chiefly memorable for containing the following statement in its Prologue –
A Crown which had become a football was ceasing to be a referee, and a game which begins by doing without a referee runs a risk of finishing without a ball.
A statement in which my heart never ceases to rejoice.