Timothy West reads the second volume of Simon Schama's compelling chronicle of the British Isles.
The British wars began on the morning of 23 July 1637, heralding 200 years of battles. Most were driven by religious or political conviction, as Republicans and Royalists, Catholics and Protestants, Tories and Whigs, and colonialists and natives vied for supremacy. Of the battles not fought on home territory, many took place across Europe, America, India, and also at sea.
Schama's examination of this turbulent period reveals how the British people eventually united in imperial enterprise, forming 'Britannia Incorporated'. The story of that change evokes the memory of such enduringly influential people as Oliver Cromwell, as well as lesser known but equally extraordinary individuals. A story of revolution and reaction, progress and catastrophe, this is a vivid account of two centuries which changed Britain.
©2012 Simon Schama (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I like to read but listening is better.
This 2nd volume was interesting and entertaining just as the 1st volume was. After having read all 3 volumes in the series, this is the edition that I'll remember the least. Certainly the end of the first volume blends together with this volume. The subtitle for this volume is "The British Wars" but that seems inapt. It's not as though the 2nd volume is entirely or even mostly a war history. The most interesting part of this volume was the retelling of the Great Fire of London. As I mentioned in my review of the first volume, it helps to be well acquainted with British history and even European history when reading this book. For example, if you aren't familiar with things like the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburgs it's going to get confusing.
My reading and listening tastes are eclectic.
This new history of Britain incorporates new knowledge and the new insights gleaned from the study of "ordinary" people and how the great events of history impact them as well as the principals involved. It was narrated very well, and was easy to follow. I am looking forward to listening to Volume 3.
"Excellent, engaging but lots to remember"
Yes. It gives an excellent analysis of British history. It is, however, a lot to take in.
When I stopped listening for a few days or weeks it was hard to regain the context, but it was worth the effort.
"Excellent until 1700, slightly meanders after"
Continues the basic structure of the first part, with more consistent depth given to the 17th century. Simon goes on in the 18th century to go rather off track at times, but not terribly or unbearably so. Still a very good book, like its predecessor.
"You couldn't make it up"
Brilliant summary of this fascinating period that gets relatively little coverage. If you thought that Britain was a nation of couch potatoes with no political enthusiasm never mind revolutionary tendencies ... Think again!
Excellent balance between royal and commoner focus. Exciting could not turn off. Narrator quite good. Crocuses on a much shorter time span than part 1 and all the better for it. History truly brought to life.
"The civil wars, Britain and the wrong empire"
The second of Schama's trilogy on Britain covers in most detail the English civil wars, Commonwealth, the protectorate and the Restoration., The British in America and India are given less space but new insights and understanding make this fascinating throughout.
"Good history lesson"
Like all history it depends on who's side you are on. This does quite well at sticking to facts (I do not now how you can confirm this) and keeping all roud perspective.
"Best Audiobook Ever"
In depth knowledge of one of the most important periods of this great country.and how we became united under one United Kingdom!
King William prince of Orange. His role in the UK and history is still celebrated today even after 300 years, incredible.
The uniting of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England together. Set on course to have the biggest empire in the world, ever!
British and Proud
Great work by Simon Schama looking forward to volume 3
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