During the 229-year period from 1485 to 1714, England transformed itself from a minor feudal state into what has been called "the first modern society" and emerged as the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.
Those years hold a huge and captivating story. The English survived repeated epidemics and famines, one failed invasion and two successful ones, two civil wars, a series of violent religious reformations and counter-reformations, and confrontations with two of the most powerful monarchs on Earth, Louis XIV of France and Philip II of Spain. But they did much more than survive. They produced a great culture, giving the world the ideas of John Locke, the plays of Shakespeare, the wit of Swift, the poetry of Milton, the buildings of Christopher Wren, the science of Isaac Newton, and the King James Bible, to name a very few. And, despite the cruelty, bloodshed, and religious suppression they visited upon so many, they ultimately left behind something else: the political principles and ideals for which we-and so many of them - would work and die, and on which we would build our own nation.
Now you can watch this remarkable panorama of society, economics, religion, and politics unfold in a series of 48 transfixing lectures by a justifiably honored teacher who takes you into the lives of not only Britain's ruling royal houses, but the English people themselves, describing how they were born, worked, played, worshiped, fell in love, and died.
Cinematic in their presentation and detail - whether describing the likely thoughts of Charles I on the way to his execution or the overheard weeping of Queen Anne after she fired her Lord Treasurer - these lectures are as memorable as the history they describe.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2003 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2003 The Great Courses
Bucholz has written some respected texts, but in this series he has relied on outdated research. His lectures on Henry VII and Henry VIII are sound enough, but by the time he got to Edward VI it was clear he had read no recent historical writing; he repeated the myth that Edward was weakly from birth, that Northumberland had conspired to put his son and daughter in law on the throne, and a number of other inaccuracies. Finally I had to stop listening. There are better books out there: David Loades' books on each of the Tudor monarchs are excellent, readable, and well-researched, Diarmuid MacCulloch wrote a good one on Edward, Dale Hoak's Age of Henry VIII is both interesting and easy to listen to.
Unlike "The Great Courses" Medievil History of England lectures, this series is poor—it is a self promoting series by Rovert Bucholz that doesn't back up most of his views with archeology and primary texts—instead he does melodramatic readings of Shakespeare, hearsay, gossip, and movie quotes.
His voice—he tries to convince you through raising his voices into an affected form of rhetoric instead of calmly presenting opposing views. He talks about the lecture its self as if were a primary source and makes leaps of logic.
Jennifer Paxton who did The Story of Medieval England
Disbelief—I'm sure which parts are true and which parts are not. I'll need to find a more balanced book about the Tudors and the Stuarts.
It's lectures series like this that cause people to study science and give up on the humanities.
I thought this was a great overview of an interesting period. The only "critique" I have is that it was a bit of a slow start. The professor sort of glossed over Henry VII, in my opinion. But after that he was consistently enjoyable and engaging. And does a great balance of the big events of history and some social, political and economic history
I listen to history fiction books for fun and entertainment. This true history course was as good or better than any books I have on this subject. Narrator is excellent!
I found the series and lecturer excelling at being able to bring a long and intertwined structure into a great narrative
Yep, i kept coming back to a long but very engaging read
He does a good job with presenting new (to me) points of view regarding well-trodden ground. Wasn't a great fan of his style of dramatic reading though.
author of Lowcountry Legend's series
This is basically good for someone unfamiliar with the period, but its mainly a rehashing of Victorian history which has plenty of holes and myths. I found it a little crazy that he insinuated Henry's inability to have a child was a result of venereal disease. That has no basis in fact, the man was such a freak about getting ill that getting the pox was just not something he can be blamed for. There are many little things in there that made me wonder when the last time he had done any reading on his subject.
England rises from a third rate nation to the greatest nation in the world. The trajectory is not obvious. It's not even intentional. Only because we can look back do we see the arc forming. This course does what great History is about. It gives you the perspective of the participants where the outcome is far from obvious. At then end of this book it is clear where this history is the platform of the American Revolution.
Fun trivia question from the book. Why did the Puritans call themselves Puritans. Trick question. They didn't. Puritan was a derogatory term coined by their opponents. Lot's of fun things in the book too!
As a Canadian I thought we would be taught about the history of our colonial masters, but somehow I slipped well into middle age without learning any of this fascinating info. The professor delivers it in a passionate and compelling manner that makes the 48 hrs fly by.
It is hard to critique the factual nature of the subject, but the analysis of the competing social forces made me wish I read this type of insight in our common social fabric years ago. It does shed light on how the political system works even today. I just wish he was able to explain more about Canada during that time. This is my 2nd learning company lecture and I hope to buy more.
Excellent I enjoyed this course so much. The Professor is good to listen to. I learned a great deal. Thanks
"Be ready to press pause ..."
... not a luxury afforded in the lecture theatre - if you are English you will find much that is contentious - better to be ready to pause than have the argument in your head and miss some of this fascinating series of lectures.
Informative, interesting, different angle.
The Great Chain of Being and how it changed through the history of the Tudors and the Stuarts
Lively lecture style, doesn't drone, well researched, well presented.
My only reason for not giving full stars is because of his overuse of "by the way..." which does get a bit repetitive but not enough to take away from these lectures being really good.
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