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 Most Annoying Narrator EVER"
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"
A History of Britain poses questions that have universal timeless resonance. What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do you give your allegiance and why? Where do the roots of your community lie - in your hearth and home, your village or city, your tribe, your faith? And, finally, what is Britain? Also, listen to A History of Britain, Volume 2.
"Accessible to the lay-person."
The 19th century witnessed some of the most far-reaching social and political changes in English history. In volume 4, we trace the arc of England's march to worldwide imperial dominance along with the nation's reckoning with her poorest citizens. It is a story of contrast and courage. The contrast is between those with titles, money, and power...and those lacking any or all of these.
Welcome to the bizarre court of Henry VIII, where even a princess fears losing her head like her mother. Elizabeth hides her tenacious personality from everyone, especially her father. Your 21st-century kid will enjoy Elizabeth's "treasonous thoughts" and glimpse the daily life of a young woman who ascended the throne at 25 and went on to rule her country for 45 years.
"a wonderful biography"
Kings and Queens of England is an entertaining account of the larger-than-life characters that have ruled England through the ages. It follows the fascinating history of monarchs from the first Saxon kings to the Windsors of the present day. Author Nigel Cawthorne paints vivid portraits of a mixed bunch of rulers ranging from the drunken and debauched merry monarch Charles II to the idealized domesticity and colonial ambition of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Which battle was fought 'For England, Harry and St George'? Who demanded to be painted 'warts and all'? What - and when - was the Battle of the Bulge? In A Short History of England, bestselling author Simon Jenkins answers all these questions - and many more - as he tells the tumultuous story of a fascinating nation. From the invaders of the Dark Ages to today's coalition, via the Tudors, the Stuarts and two world wars, Jenkins weaves together a gripping narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in his own inimitable style.
Today, roses are a sign of love and luxury, but for over 30 years they provided the symbols for two houses at war for control of England. Thousands of people died and many more were injured fighting beneath the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster, and the noble families ruling England tore each other apart in a struggle that was as bitter as it was bloody.
"Could this topic be made any more boring?!"
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"
Eminent - and best selling - historian Simon Schama takes the listener back in time to the Britain that existed in the 17th and 18th centuries, introducing us to the ill-fated Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, John Milton and Benjamin Franklin, and some not-so-famous characters who helped define the course of British history. "Delightfully accessible," say the critics, "a powerful experience."
"All around outstanding"
England's turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare's late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton, and Thomas Hobbes's great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Rebellion also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.
"Good but not great"
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"
A fresh look at the endlessly fascinating Tudors - the dramatic and overlooked story of Henry VII and his founding of the Tudor Dynasty - filled with spies, plots, counter-plots, and an uneasy royal succession to Henry VIII. Near the turn of the sixteenth century, England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy and civil war. Henry Tudor clambered to the top of the heap, a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England’s crown who managed to win the throne and stay on it for 24 years.
"Excellent portrayal of a man and his time"
In 1848, the British East India Company, having lost its monopoly on the tea trade, engaged Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, botanist, and plant hunter, to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China - territory forbidden to foreigners - to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing. For All the Tea in China is the remarkable account of Fortune's journeys into China - a thrilling narrative that combines history, geography, botany, natural science, and old-fashioned adventure.
"Like Fingernails on a Chalkboard"
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"
Exploring the successful Norman invasion of England in 1066, this concise and listenable book focuses especially on the often dramatic and enduring changes wrought by William the Conqueror and his followers. Hugh M. Thomas considers the conquest's wide-ranging impact by taking a fresh look at such traditional themes as the influence of battles and great men on history and by assessing how far the shift in ruling dynasty and noble elites affected broader aspects of English history.
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"
During the reign of Richard I, Wilfred of Ivanhoe earns his father's disapproval by falling in love with Rowena, his father's ward. His father had planned to wed her himself, and reestablish the Saxon line.
"A great classic romance/adventure"
During the course of the 1950s, England lost confidence in its rulers and convinced itself to modernise. The bankrupt steam-powered railway, run by a retired general, symbolised everything that was wrong with the country; the future lay in motorways and high speed electric - or even atomic - express trains. But plans for a gleaming new railway system ended in failure and on the roads traffic ground to a halt. Along came Dr Beeching, forensically analysing the railways’ problems and delivering an expert’s diagnosis that a third of the nation’s railways must go.