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Winston Churchill's seminal work crackles right along through centuries of British depravity and triumphs, just enough detail and on you go (although one might wish to hear a bit more of the condition of the non-noble common man). Churchill spices his research with a generous serving of opinion in a way that only one who has "been there" can do. While it was launched decades ago it remains a very contemporary history.
Churchill's writing is good and the history is engaging. If you are a fan of the Lion of England, this history provides some insight into how he thought. But, you will probably need a pen & paper to keep up with all the names and places. I am somewhat familiar with both and I still found myself rewinding repeatedly.
Winston Churchill takes a period of history for which most are simply unaware and breaks it down into manageable sections, and while packed with details, his presentation is more like reading a story rather listening to a history lesson. Christian Rodska is simply wonderful to listen to and makes this great volume of information a very easy listen. The only downside I can think of is that listening to 16 hours of audio twice is a lot to handle, but believe me, you will want to, it really is that good.
I agree with another reviewer that the many names, places, events and battles are hard to keep track of and I had to rewind often to keep up. Eventually I decided to just go with the flow and only rewound when really necessary. Once I gave up having to have all the details, I realized I was still retaining the general sense and direction of the events and still very much enjoying it. I like hearing Churchill???s take on things ??? especially when he remarks on how these historical events are similar to events in his time, which is powerful in light of what he lived through. I also really liked the narrator who sounded very Churchillian to me. Always clear, never hard to understand and had a pleasant pace and flow to his reading. I???m getting the second volume now and look forward to hearing about Elizabeth I.
Churchill wrote an interesting history and made several hundred years of English kings and wars and castle intrigue cogent and arresting. I look forward to the subsequent volumes.
There is a reason Winston Churchill could always be sure that his finances could be refilled by his writing. This is English history in great detail that feels like a wonderful story.
Churchill had a great feel for this history of his country and people, and this (the first of his 4 volume History of the English Speaking Peoples) gets the story rolling quickly. The story does go back into pre-Roman Britain, but it really gets rolling with his detailed look at all the kings and battles that put England together out of a rolling cast of Vikings, Saxons, Scots, Picts, and all the various brigands that tried to control this island.
The detail of the history is good, but what really brings this to a higher level of history is Churchill's insight into what the actions of different people or groups meant to the overall history of England and its culture.
Its interesting to note that this book was actually researched and started before WW I, but he went back to it after this cataclysm and brought out a classic of history.
I can't wait for the other 3 volumes to appear.
I passed exams in History at school, how I don't know. I found it boring to the max.
A couple of years ago, I started to read the fabulously bitchy history of England by Baron Macaulay for Librivox audio. It was an absolute hoot, which made me realise that history can be interesting and fun.
The more I read, the more I realise how good *this* work of Winston Churchills really is. David Hume's is probably the more complete, but this definitely puts meat on dry bones. The late Winston was an opinionated old scoot, and without doubt, definitely a snob. He unquestionably considered the aristocracy, of which he was a member, rather better than yer average citizen.
Strangely enough, while that does come through, it doesn't annoy.
I particularly enjoyed his take on the middle ages, where it had the definite ring of veracity.
Every history of Britain suffers from lack of detail from Caesars time through about AD800 or so. The documents are patchy, and mostly compiled from monks drawing the history of their church, rather than the times. Churchill runs through this time lightly, offering his opinion as best as can be gained from the documents available, and better than most, Hume included.
Very well read, very well written and consistently interesting. A surprise and a constant delight.
I don't know a better writer than Winston Churchill. It is like sitting in the room with a great story teller. My only regret about this book is that it covers too much ground too quickly. Having read a substantial amount about English history I still have difficulty keeping the Kings and Queens straight. Keeping this in mind this is a book that I shall read (listen to) several times.I cannot recommend the read more highly.
This book is engaging if you are interested in the monarchy of England, but I feel that it was severely mis-represented by the title. It should be called A HIstory of the Monarchy of England. There is very little about the history of the people, and indeed many of the monarchs were not actually English-speaking.
The narrator did a great job and really worked to bring rather dry text alive.
The history of early england is written well and sounds like a story rather than a history lesson.
It would be nice if someone re-wrote it in a more modern style,
Quite good though, Churchill has an impressive historic knowledge
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