From the successes and failures of the monarchy to the daily life of a Roman soldier stationed on Hadrian's Wall, Schama gives a vivid, fascinating account of the many different stories and struggles that lie behind the growth of our island nation.
Simon Schama's hugely successful BBC2 series has shown him to be one of the most original and exciting historians. Timothy West's abridged reading of the book bears further testimony to Schama's extraordinary gift for story-telling.
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No Contest. Pithy and full of original insight. I learnt more from this than my entire history degree.
Timothy West is a gorgeous narrator.
This series is one of my favourite audio series in my library. I regularly rotate audio books out of my iPod Touch library to make room for other audiobooks, but this series always stays. The narrator's tone aligns wonderfully with the author's writing style. This series meets my expectations perfectly - there's a lot of history to cover so of course the author had to be choosy regarding what to emphasize. If one of his intentions was to spark the reader/listener's interest and use this series as a jumping-off point for our own explorations into specific periods of history, then the author was successful. I have absolutely no regrets at all about purchasing this audio series. Both the narrator and the author are excellent story-tellers.
History come vividly alive, with people and events throughly analysed and colourfully, masterfully explained. The narration is excellent too. Not to be missed.
British history is vast and it's rare to find a book like this. It covers the main events in enough detail to see into the factors at play behind the events. Example: The author presents the idea that the plague was in part the cause of the Reformation. During the plague, priests became so rare, that the church allowed anyone (even women) to give last rites. This planted the notion that priests were perhaps optional; maybe one could even read the Bible oneself!
I love listening in the car on the way to work. I like history and stuff.
A little hard going in the car, but a very good listen. You may have to back it up with the book, but its abridged.
Outstanding! I learnt more listening to this book that I had learnt in years of history lessons at all level's! Not just for history buff's but for anyone English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish!
"Not good for a casual listen"
This would perhaps be a good history text book, it is not however good for the casual listener. I listen to audiobooks to broaden my knowledge, and to relax. In that capacity this book was impossible to follow and went through a lot of history at light speed.
Enjoyable listen and clearly fantastically researched. Would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about British history.
"Exceptional, greatly read by Timothy West"
Having read a lot about that period over the years, it was a great welcome addition. Schama's take on the period cleverly weaves a fine tapestry of the evolution of Britain's history in such a succinct story like manner much like a Trollope novel especially as read by Timothy West
The author brings history to life, quotes various figures and doesn't just list occurrences but tells the stories of the people. Lots of new stuff I hadn't heard before. Very well read.
"Our History in words"
Having seen the BBC TV programme and having bought the book, I was delighted to see this volume as audio. I absolutely love this era of our history, particularly the dying embers of Anglo Saxon Britain but also the Tudor age. Written by Simon Schama with such dexterity, keeping the reader interesting at all points and superbly read by Timothy West, an actor of distinction. A super 'listen'.
I am so pleased I bought this, I enjoyed it so much I actually listened to it twice in quick succession.
"Brilliantly written, engagingly narrated"
Very accessible account of English history, focussed on the rulers but also at various points also describing the lot of the common people.
Very good, apart from the annoyance of having no gaps between the chapters, meaning the last words if the previous chapter bleed into the title of the next.
"Where are the Battles?"
Good, but I was disappointed that there was no coverage of the battles of Bosworth and Agincourt.
Mebbe the unabridged CD version (also narrated by Timothy West) covers them?
"A History of Britain 4000 BC - 1603"
This 8-hour long audiobook is one of the best I have ever listened to. I love history, and know quite a lot about it, but this book informed me on huge amounts that I did not know. The only little niggle that I would have is that Simon Schama expects some level of history knowledge - which I have - so, if you haven't any idea about the History of Britain don't get this.
However, if you have any idea of history, and are interested in history BUY THIS NOW!
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