These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation.
"I was happily surprised!"
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.
The history of England can be said to have begun with the arrival of Julius Caesar in 54 BC. Four hundred years later, Romano British civilization came to an end with the withdrawal of Roman military protection and the onslaught by successive waves of Germanic invasions. Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, and Norsemen ravaged Britain for almost 500 years. The native Celtic peoples were displaced and driven westward into present-day Wales, where their descendants dwell to this day.
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.
"Old-fashioned and inaccurate"
The tumult and opulence of England’s Regency era burst from the pages in this work of literary nonfiction by acclaimed author Carolly Erickson. When dementia forces King George III to vacate his throne, the kingdom slips into a decade marked with excess, scandal, and riots. King George has suffered bouts of mental instability before, but in 1810 he shows no signs of recovering. Public and government business halts as word of his condition leaks out. Hoping to control the crisis, Parliament appoints the king’s unpopular son Prince George IV as Regent or caretaker.
"Riveting History of Regency Period"
The Tower of London is one of the most historic sites in all of England and still one of the most popular. All around is the modern city of London, one of the world's most prosperous and power financial districts, but the Tower is still a daunting structure that looms across the landscape. Not a single structure but a vast network of medieval and early modern fortifications, it anchors the southeastern end of the old city and controls access to the River Thames and, through it, London's connection to the sea.
Peter Ackroyd, one of Britain's most acclaimed writers, brings the age of the Tudors to vivid life in this monumental audiobook in his History of England series, charting the course of English history from Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome to the epic rule of Elizabeth I.
The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights.
"Excellent Narrative History"
Which king liked to bathe while the band played Rule Britannia? Which queen was so fat she needed a hoist to get on the throne? Which prince shut his wife out of Westminster Abbey to prevent her from being crowned? Who was the blood-thirstiest monarch of them all? Kings and Queens of England is a no-holds-barred account of the British monarchy with the gossip and gore left in, and nothing left out! It leaves no stone unturned in its mission to portray kings and queens as they really were, warts and all.
For over 1,000 years England has had a monarchy, and though the line of succession did not always pass smoothly, it has almost always been continuous. England has more often been faced with the claims of competing kings and queens than with a period of no monarch at all.
"A Good appetizer to the full Cromwell History"
Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat? Ian Mortimer shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. He sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you to the Middle Ages. The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: evolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail.
"Detailed, Interesting and Entertaining"
Organized as a travel guide for the time-hopping tourist, The Time-Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England is an entertaining popular history with a twist. Historian Ian Mortimer reveals in delightful (and occasionally disturbing) detail how the streets and homes of 16th century looked, sounded, and smelled for both peasants and for royals; what people wore and ate; how they were punished for crimes and treated for diseases; and the complex and contradictory Elizabethan attitudes toward violence, class, sex, and religion.
"Elizabethan England... As Never Presented Before"
King John is familiar to everyone as the villain from the tales of Robin Hood - greedy, cowardly, despicable, and cruel. But who was the man behind the legend? Was he a monster or a capable ruler cursed by bad luck? In this new book, best-selling historian Marc Morris draws on contemporary chronicles and the king's own letters to bring the real King John vividly to life. John was dynamic, inventive, and relentless but also a figure with terrible flaws.
The former King of England, Edward II was murdered in Berkeley Castle, near Gloucester, England. In 1326, Edward's wife, Isabella of France, led an invasion against her husband. The following year, Edward was made to renounce the throne in favor of his son Edward. This was the first time that a king of England had been dethroned since Ethelred in 1013.
"Excellent introduction of British History"
Following the execution of the king in 1649, the new Commonwealth and then Oliver Cromwell set out to drive forward a puritan reformation of manners. They wanted to reform the church and its services, enforce the Sabbath, suppress Christmas, and spread the gospel. They sought to impose a stern moral discipline to regulate and reform sexual behaviour, drinking practices, language, dress, and leisure activities ranging from music and plays to football.
The Tudors are England's most notorious royal family. But, as Leanda de Lisle's gripping new history reveals, they are a family still more extraordinary than the one we thought we knew. The Tudor canon typically starts with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 before speeding on to Henry VIII and the Reformation. But this leaves out the family's obscure Welsh origins and the ordinary man known as Owen Tudor who would fall (literally) into a queen's lap - and later her bed.
"Clear and detailed"
Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record. It is a comprehensive account, animated by Ackroyd's concern for the close relationship between the present and the past as well as by what he describes as the peculiar "echoic" quality of London whereby its texture and history actively affect the lives and personalities of its citizens.
In volume three of Cyril Robinson's famous history of England, we now enter a crucial phase in which political and economic power both change hands. Parliament now dominates the nation's political discourse, and, led by its brilliant Whig leader, Robert Walpole, this party maintains itself in power for a century. It is a stagnant century of corrupt politics and even more corrupt government magistrates and bureaucrats. But it is also the century that will usher in the greatest change humankind has ever seen.
"Colorful, punchy, engaging; a bit jingoistic"
It almost goes without saying that Westminster Abbey is one of the foremost sites in Europe when it comes to being steeped in history. Dating back to the reign of William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest, Westminster Abbey has traditionally been the site of royal coronations, royal weddings, and royal burials, and anyone who enters can instantly feel that they are walking in the footsteps of some of the most influential figures in history, from Henry III to Queen Elizabeth I.
In a rich and riveting narrative, Jane Dunn reveals the extraordinary rivalry between the regal cousins. It is the story of two queens ruling on one island, each with a claim to the throne of England, each embodying dramatically opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness (and views of sexuality), and divinely ordained kingship.
"Repetitive and boring"