©1998 Antonia Fraser; (P)1998 by The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.
Covering 10 centuries of monarchy in almost as many hours, this book moves fast. As a result of its comprehensive scope, one suspects that some of the most critical and important events in English history are given something of a superficial treatment. That being said, this book provides an excellent introduction to English history, at least the classic "great men (and women)" history that many of us grew up with. Although the book is a compilation of separate authors, it is very fluid. It is written in a plain, straightforward manner and breathes life into its recount of one of the greatest soap operas tales known to history--the story of the English monarchy. If you like stories about murder, treachery, and power, this book is chalk-full of such tales. For those from outside of England that want a quick overview before your trip, this book will definitely do the trick.
A very concise review of all of the monarchy in England. As thorough as it can be for its short length--if you want a review of all the English monarchy, this is it! I have been reading a lot of biographies and wanted to get the overall strand of monarchs straight, and this was perfect for that. I found it helpful that the book was broke up the reigns by direct family line (so the section changed when someone died without a son/daughter).
Such a complete listening pleasure, the best book I have listened to so far I just couldn't stop I needed more.
In the car, on the bus or cuddled up in bed at night I just loved in. Antonia Fraser may have edited this fabulous book but Wanda Mc Cadden brought the rise and fall of the English monarchy to life for me. Just fantastic!!
I love the way the book chronicles the history of the kings and queens of England. If you have an interest in the English Monarcy and/or some of the major turning points of England's history, this is the audiobook for you.
I have Antonia Fraser's book as well but wanted to re-read it with audio. Starting with the Normon conquest up until the Windsors, it is a superb book, easy to follow, and immensely interesting with lots of detail. It is also very well read which makes listening to it a pleasure.
• The chapters on the early kings were very well done encompassing the major events of the kings’ reigns and in well-paced timing
• The technique of covering every monarch in chronological order was favorable than trying to find bits and pieces on monarchs in other lectures among other topics discussed
• The chapters on the latter kings were difficult to listen to (a combination of flowery talk making it difficult for the author’s points to be conveyed/understood and less of a focus on the monarch’s final legacy and summation of personality---too many times it seemed like the author was more interested in presenting differing views from way too many scholars; What was the general/majority opinion?? Was left with not really knowing what history truly said of the monarch/their legacy)
• Pre-Norman kings were not covered
• Some events or details seemed to be lacking or barely covered: for example How does a book like this not mention that Richard was known as the Lion heart? Or the Magna Carter’s purpose?
I have always wanted to read these historical accounts, but alas this is a very disappointing book. I don't know how they did it, but the authors of the various chapters have succeeded in making some of the most fascinating figures in history quite dull and two-dimensional. And how is it possible to omit Shakespeare from the chapter on Queen Elizabeth? Good grief!
The book provides snippets about each monarch, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell excluded, from way back to present day. Sources are told at the start of each royal house, which I thought was good, and it was kept brief ( I think this would help the novice historian get a taste and decided which era to try first). The writing was very good, the narrator was excellent so full marks all round.
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