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A History of Britain, Volume 1 Audiobook

A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World, 3000 BC - AD 1603

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Publisher's Summary

To look back at the past is to understand the present. In this vivid account of over 4,000 years of British history, Simon Schama takes us on an epic journey which encompasses the very beginnings of the nation's identity, when the first settlers landed on Orkney.

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.

This is Volume 1 of A History of Britain. Don't miss Volume 2 and Volume 3.

© and (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (57 )
5 star
 (31)
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4.5 (21 )
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Story
4.7 (20 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Patrick EdinburghUnited Kingdom 06-13-05
    Patrick EdinburghUnited Kingdom 06-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
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    Overall
    "The Best History of Britain Ever Written"

    No Contest. Pithy and full of original insight. I learnt more from this than my entire history degree.

    Timothy West is a gorgeous narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    timelady 04-16-15
    timelady 04-16-15 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    6
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    0
    3
    Overall
    "This series is marvellous"

    History come vividly alive, with people and events throughly analysed and colourfully, masterfully explained. The narration is excellent too. Not to be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 04-14-12
    Ian Oxford Mills, ON, Canada 04-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    22
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good brief history of Britain"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Australia 03-15-11
    Andrew Australia 03-15-11

    I love listening in the car on the way to work. I like history and stuff.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    17
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    "Great"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Kingston, ON, Canada 02-07-07
    Nancy Kingston, ON, Canada 02-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
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    214
    13
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    "too abridged"

    Nicely read but way too abridged. It would be better to read this book in print.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heather ottawa, ON, Canada 10-29-06
    heather ottawa, ON, Canada 10-29-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    55
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    "rule britannia"

    Superb. Don't let the intro throw you...the book is absolutely great. It made my garden chores fly by !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 01-17-06
    Paul 01-17-06 Listener Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
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    "Excellent!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Samuel
    Brighton, United Kingdom
    5/3/12
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very informative"

    Enjoyable listen and clearly fantastically researched. Would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about British history.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • D. Kelly
    London
    5/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Jeg Andereson
    Kent
    4/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant history"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Philip2894
    PRESTON, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "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'.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ricky
    Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom
    4/26/11
    Overall
    "Amazing"

    I am so pleased I bought this, I enjoyed it so much I actually listened to it twice in quick succession.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chris I
    UK
    10/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steven Nutt
    UK
    10/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    England
    1/3/12
    Overall
    "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?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
    11/27/08
    Overall
    "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!

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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