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Publisher's Summary

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, Louis XIV of France and Philip II of Spain. But they did much more than survive. They produced a great culture, giving the world the ideas of John Locke, the plays of Shakespeare, the wit of Swift, the poetry of Milton, the buildings of Christopher Wren, the science of Isaac Newton, and the King James Bible, to name a very few. And, despite the cruelty, bloodshed, and religious suppression they visited upon so many, they ultimately left behind something else: the political principles and ideals for which we-and so many of them - would work and die, and on which we would build our own nation.

Now you can watch this remarkable panorama of society, economics, religion, and politics unfold in a series of 48 transfixing lectures by a justifiably honored teacher who takes you into the lives of not only Britain's ruling royal houses, but the English people themselves, describing how they were born, worked, played, worshiped, fell in love, and died.

Cinematic in their presentation and detail - whether describing the likely thoughts of Charles I on the way to his execution or the overheard weeping of Queen Anne after she fired her Lord Treasurer - these lectures are as memorable as the history they describe.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2003 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2003 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Old-fashioned and inaccurate

Bucholz has written some respected texts, but in this series he has relied on outdated research. His lectures on Henry VII and Henry VIII are sound enough, but by the time he got to Edward VI it was clear he had read no recent historical writing; he repeated the myth that Edward was weakly from birth, that Northumberland had conspired to put his son and daughter in law on the throne, and a number of other inaccuracies. Finally I had to stop listening. There are better books out there: David Loades' books on each of the Tudor monarchs are excellent, readable, and well-researched, Diarmuid MacCulloch wrote a good one on Edward, Dale Hoak's Age of Henry VIII is both interesting and easy to listen to.

42 of 49 people found this review helpful

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A fantastic storyteller of a fantastic story

A must listen for anyone that is interested in history. It is very well presented and has enough depth. I've learnt a huge amount from this series and now have a desire to learn a lot more about the period.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Engaging & thorough review of Tudor-Stuart Britain

I have really enjoyed this lecture series! The level of detail would make it easy for anyone to understand, not just those with a background in history. I love that he focuses on social history, as this was an aspect not often reviewed in my studies but is the part of history I enjoy most. I especially enjoyed that he spent time reviewing the lives of the lower social classes and what every day life would have been like during this time period!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Betsy
  • Everett, MA, United States
  • 01-20-14

Interesting

I thought this was a great overview of an interesting period. The only "critique" I have is that it was a bit of a slow start. The professor sort of glossed over Henry VII, in my opinion. But after that he was consistently enjoyable and engaging. And does a great balance of the big events of history and some social, political and economic history

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jay
  • Spokane, Washington, United States
  • 08-27-13

Better than any fiction

I listen to history fiction books for fun and entertainment. This true history course was as good or better than any books I have on this subject. Narrator is excellent!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Edward
  • Lititz, PA, United States
  • 08-11-13

Easy listen

What did you love best about A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts?

I found the series and lecturer excelling at being able to bring a long and intertwined structure into a great narrative

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yep, i kept coming back to a long but very engaging read

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • gerry
  • milton, ON, Canada
  • 12-14-13

I don't usually give 5's

As a Canadian I thought we would be taught about the history of our colonial masters, but somehow I slipped well into middle age without learning any of this fascinating info. The professor delivers it in a passionate and compelling manner that makes the 48 hrs fly by.
It is hard to critique the factual nature of the subject, but the analysis of the competing social forces made me wish I read this type of insight in our common social fabric years ago. It does shed light on how the political system works even today. I just wish he was able to explain more about Canada during that time. This is my 2nd learning company lecture and I hope to buy more.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • RNR 77
  • Mesa, Arizona USA
  • 02-16-17

Few could be more passionate and knowledgeable!

I found myself several times during this course thinking how fortunate I was to be spending this time with Professor Bucholz. He takes plenty of time to describe what was going on in the life of the average Englishman or woman's life, so you get that perspective along the way. But the stories of the monarchs....their accomplishments and their oh so many foibles, are sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always entertaining.

I feel like I just wrapped an actual college course!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • United States
  • 01-06-17

Amazing. Detailed and immersive.

It was worth every single minute.

Clearly read. Well produced.

Professor Bucholz knows the subject AND can teach it as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John S.
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 01-30-15

Not bad

He does a good job with presenting new (to me) points of view regarding well-trodden ground. Wasn't a great fan of his style of dramatic reading though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 07-28-14

Be ready to press pause ...

... not a luxury afforded in the lecture theatre - if you are English you will find much that is contentious - better to be ready to pause than have the argument in your head and miss some of this fascinating series of lectures.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Robinson
  • 05-23-15

The seeds of our modern successes and failures

Prof Bucholz has provided a digestible yet encyclopaedic account of modern English history. With a relaxed and informal style he shows how the personalities of the Monarchs shape their response to the main problem areas of the day, religion, succession, finance and dealing with foreign threats or opportunities. Aimed at a U.S. audience I, as a Brit, always found the course relevant and interesting. The way the government moves from the King to Parliament over the centuries, and the way responses to religious dissent move from execution by burning to less violent punishment and finally to religious tolerance helps us understand our present day responses when tensions between Protestants and Catholics, Muslims and Jews underlie any global conflicts. Above all, to get to know the Monarchs and their entourages as people, Henry 8th whose narcissistic and sociopathic personality led to huge changes for the country and Queen Anne, denigrated for her obesity by some sexist historians, yet able to make peace after a terrible war.
A great voyage.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 06-03-15

learn about history the easy way

was able to learn so much and all whilst either driving, traveling on the train or cooking a meal for my family

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-26-14

Worthwhile listen

If you could sum up A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts in three words, what would they be?

Informative, interesting, different angle.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts?

The Great Chain of Being and how it changed through the history of the Tudors and the Stuarts

What does Professor Robert Bucholz bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Lively lecture style, doesn't drone, well researched, well presented.
My only reason for not giving full stars is because of his overuse of "by the way..." which does get a bit repetitive but not enough to take away from these lectures being really good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • professor robin matthews
  • 06-05-17

amazingly good

What did you like most about A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts?

The coverage is immense; coherent theme, informative and illuminating. Great

What did you like best about this story?

All aspects, lecturing style, information, research marvellous.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

difficult to say. All lectures of a great standard

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. But that would not to justice to the content.

Any additional comments?

Congratulations and thanks.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-02-17

Excellent!

Would you listen to A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts again? Why?

Yes I would. It is fantastic how much the Professor has managed to get into every lecture, without jamming it with names. I am sure I have missed things first time round, and would enjoy listening again to catch more. The lectures are written in a witty engaging style. He manages to cover all the good stories as well as giving us a proper historical account of the period.

He does a great job of balancing the high politics and character portraits of the key leaders with a humane and imaginative portrayal of the lives of ordinary people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Narny
  • 08-05-16

Well presented and easily digestible

Although quite a daunting task to finish all the lectures I was glad I persevered. The lecturer was interesting to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret Sealy
  • 08-04-16

Historcal audible

All quite positive and informative .Appears to be well researched . I want to continue my bucket list and history is top of that list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Salsaroo
  • 12-02-15

Would recommend

What did you like most about A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts?

Prof Buchoiz is an engaging speaker and his lectures are stimulating. He includes accounts of the common people as well as an informative run through the kings and queens of England.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is possible to listen for long periods of time and remain interested

Any additional comments?

The sound seems a little muffled, but increasing the volume a little solves the problem

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Louise
  • 04-17-18

Very entertaining

As a Brit listening, this was incredibly interesting. Obviously we learnt some of this at school but it built on the story and helped it to make sense.
The first three quarters are a lot more entertaining than the final ones.
I will probably listen to this again.

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  • Helen
  • 05-15-15

Fabulous course

This was a truly great course. The lecturer was engaging, witty and knowledgeable. He made the material understandable and relevant for listeners all over the world. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. P. HIGBED
  • 07-15-18

A tasty feast of knowledge

I have had, for years, a Queen Anne farthing and a silver Queen Elizabeth I penny. So, on a whim, I got this course to find out something about their background for pub “show and tell”.
Wow! Was I surprised. This professor loves his subject so much he makes the whole history a coloful pageant. I was hooked. This course is really all about the builders of the foundations of our modern mercantile, democratic world.
I admit to fast forwarding through about 6 chapters. But the other 40 were gold!

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  • DAI
  • 01-31-18

Sweeping Political Narrative of the Tudor/Stuarts

A great account of the political history of the T/S reign. I would have liked to have heard more than the political story however. There was an attempt to do this through a series of separate 'social history ' lectures, but these lectures tended to focus on the literature of the day, the workplaces and professions of the day and the anthropological 'day in the life of a...' rather than delving into any accounts of real people who lived during that time as normal every day Britons.

There were attempts to do this by 'imagining' a woman who might have lived throughout that time, but I'm not sure why we couldn't have actually heard true accounts of those living under the British monarchs.

On the plus side, I have a new found interest in Queen Anne and I'm fascinated Charles I and II.

In all, it was great for what it was, but I'm now only more intrigued to understand the deeper and wider history of England during this period.