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Foundation Audiobook

Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors: The History of England, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

In this massive best seller in England, one of Britain's most popular and esteemed historians tells the epic story of the birth of the country.

Peter Ackroyd, whose work has always been underpinned by a profound interest in and understanding of England's history, now tells the epic story of England itself.

In Foundation the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us from the primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, in 1509. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country's most distant past - a Neolithic stirrup found in a grave, a Roman fort, a Saxon tomb, a medieval manor house - and describes in rich prose the successive waves of invaders who made England English despite being themselves Roman, Viking, Saxon, or Norman French.

With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and his acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, civil strife, and foreign wars. But he also gives us a vivid sense of how England's early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought vividly to life through the narrative mastery of one of Britain's finest writers.

©2011 Peter Ackroyd (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (400 )
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Performance
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  •  
    JudieBee 12-25-15
    JudieBee 12-25-15
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    "The Most Annoying Narrator EVER"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Love the story and the history which, of course, is why I bought it. But oh my! The narrator!


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clive Chafer?

    ANYONE but him. Most annoying. He has this odd cadence by which every 5th word is high pitched and he cannot make any phrase longer than 6 words. Hated it. But fascinated with the story. 19 hours of trying not to notice this narrator's jaw-clenching speech pattern. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!


    Any additional comments?

    Would really like to buy The Tudors but that would mean 18 more hours of this dreadful narrator. Not sure I can willingly buy into that.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pm444 Okemos, MI USA 10-24-15
    pm444 Okemos, MI USA 10-24-15 Member Since 2012

    pm444

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    "A fix for the narration"
    Would you listen to Foundation again? Why?

    I enjoyed it but I have it in hardcover so if I want to refer to it, I'll use the physical book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author keeps things moving while still covering a lot of history.


    What does Clive Chafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    When I first started listening, the narration was very annoying because it is so slow. I finally set the speed to 1.5 and that solved the problem for me. It was enough to sound normal and didn't distort the voice. I plan to do the same thing for the other books in the series.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction, but it definitely motivated me to read the other books.


    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MacKenzie 05-31-15
    MacKenzie 05-31-15
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    "Fascinating read, poor performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, if they are interested in history.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Ackroyd's writing brings the history of England to life. He makes the story interesting and informative without getting bogged down in the mundane.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Clive Chafer’s performances?

    Chafer's voice has a nice tone, but his inflection was awful. Every sentence is read in exactly the same way, much like reading a grocery list. It took me several hours of listening before I could get past the distracting repetition in his inflection. I would not choose to listen to another audiobook read by Chafer.


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Smith 05-07-15
    Dr. Smith 05-07-15
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    "Monotone reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, for it's very interesting information.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Interesting history thoroughly handled.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clive Chafer?

    Anyone with more interest and vocal range. His vocal range is quite narrow and almost every phrase ends on the same pitch. It is very annoying and I only kept listening because Mr. Ackroyd's writing is so interesting.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Packed with interest.


    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie 03-23-15
    Maggie 03-23-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Didn't Want It To End!!"
    Would you listen to Foundation again? Why?

    I most certainly will! Just enough detail, without being dreary...and the narrator's delivery was pitch-perfect!


    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Denman Missouri 10-09-15
    E. Denman Missouri 10-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Could be the best book on the subject but..."
    What disappointed you about Foundation?

    The narrator is so bad I am unable to finish this book. His cadence is exactly the same for every sentence and his delivery is exactly the same for each sentence. Completely destroys my ability to listen.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Literally any other narrator should have been used. Charlton Griffon is my favorite... I will never buy another book narrated by this guy.


    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin E Porter 04-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting listen"

    The material covered is very good although it was interesting how the author spent a lot of time going over daily life of the people while only touching on important events in some eras. The narrator was ok but he put a lot of emphasis on the last syllable of the last work of each sentence which was annoying at first but after a while I got used to it.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Serena Galloway 01-18-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Not bad"

    I noted a couple of things that do not appear to be factual. it is my understand that the grain product called corn did not arrive until into the 1500's but it is mentioned many times as a crop prior to that date. also the mention that Richard III bones were disinterred and then scattered is obviously false as well since his body was discovered a few years ago. all other history books simple state that his body was lost to history.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Penny Palo Alto, CA, United States 04-25-15
    Penny Palo Alto, CA, United States 04-25-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Overview of English History."

    Takes a bit getting used to the reader, but very good overview of British history. Especially interesting for pre invasion history.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Leslie abingdon, MD, USA 05-08-15
    Leslie abingdon, MD, USA 05-08-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Fascinating History with Rather Stylized Narration"

    The subject matter is informative and sprinkled with entertaining anecdotes; the narrator takes some getting used to though. Still it's well worth the listen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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