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Publisher's Summary

From Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome to the epic rule of Elizabeth I, the age of the Tudors comes to vivid life in audio.

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.

Rich in detail and atmosphere, Tudors is the story of Henry VIII's relentless pursuit of both the perfect wife and the perfect heir; of how the brief royal reign of the teenage king, Edward VI, gave way to the violent reimposition of Catholicism and the stench of bonfires under "Bloody Mary". It tells, too, of the long reign of Elizabeth I, which, though marked by civil strife, plots against her, and even an invasion force, finally brought stability.

Above all it is the story of the English Reformation and the making of the Anglican Church. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, England was still largely feudal and looked to Rome for direction; at its end it was a country where good governance was the duty of the state, not the church, and where men and women began to look to themselves for answers rather than to those who ruled them.

©2012 Peter Ackroyd (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie
  • abingdon, MD, USA
  • 07-02-15

A Great Listen for Any Anglophile

This second work by Ackroyd on British history is equally informative and fascinating as the first. The length of time covered here is considerably shorter and easier to get your head around. The narrator's style becomes familiar and is much less distracting. I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment: The Reformation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Don't give up on the narrator

I had some trouble getting used to Clive Chaffer's style, but I stuck with it. I became accustomed to it and I'm glad I did. The story is certainly worth having the patience to get used to him. Try speeding the audio up; that helps some. I'm now a Clive Chaffer fan!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent overview of the periods.

If you could sum up Tudors in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, informative, well researched.

What other book might you compare Tudors to and why?

Many excellent books have been written about this family and this is one more.

What about Clive Chafer’s performance did you like?

Well performed and clear

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well written

very detailed ; long, but well -researched and well-written. good narration. you have to really want to learn about English history to read it, but you don't have to know a lot about it ahead of time

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Horrible narrator

The narrator sounds like a news corespondent with the exact same inflection at the ends of sentences, over and over and over. I couldn't stand more than a half hour so I can't review the actual book.

18 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I didn't want to hear a news broadcast.

I struggled through as much as I could. The narrator has fantastic diction, but has the soubd of a news reporter.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good for the strong of stomache

Would you try another book from Peter Ackroyd and/or Clive Chafer?

Yes, Ackroyd writes well and Chafer reads well. Love history, however.....

Would you ever listen to anything by Peter Ackroyd again?

Certainly, I intend to.

What about Clive Chafer’s performance did you like?

Clear and understandable.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Tudors?

The rather graphic descriptions of brutal, even horrendous executions. We need to know of course, that these things occurred. Personally, the details were more than I could bear.

Any additional comments?

I am turning in this book, since I don't intend to listen to it again. I knew I was not going to like the Tudors very much, but HenryVIII was worse than I even imagined. Elizabeth I was pretty cool, but overall, I took away far too much torture and gore.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Well researched and interesting!

Book 2 in Peter Ackroyd's History of England series doesn't miss a beat from the first book. So much information is contained here. It's amazing what is known about the day-to-day lives of royalty from this period. So many letters, court records, etc. that tell us so much about these people. It is also amazing how little is known about the day-to-day lives of the general populace of England at the same time. As necessitated by where the records are, this book gives much more detail in the lives of royalty than the rest of England. That said, I don't think Ackroyd misses a thing. I have much greater understanding of the Tudor period and the formation of the Church of England than I did before this book. Really worthwhile reading!
One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from a discussion about the persecution of Catholics in England during this reformative period, i.e. burning at the stake, torturing, etc. The author says something to this effect: "At this point the historian is tempted to pass judgement on the perpetrators of these acts as bigots and as evil people. But we must not reflect our modern sensibilities on those who lived centuries before." At last! Someone who looks at history in a reasonable way! Thank you Mr. Ackroyd. I loved this book and will be moving on to the next one!

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  • JamesR
  • Beautiful Michigan
  • 05-23-17

A must for England historians

Objective discourse on the Tudors. Be sure to get the previous book in the series Foundation!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator ?? hmmmmmm !

If you can persevere with the narrator you can get used to it and be offended by the narration less and less frequently until eventually you won't notice it. Extraordinary intonation but wonderfully clear diction. Information very interesting and well written.

I'm an insomniac and I'm glad I bought this book because I use it as a sleep aid...the narration inflections are a predictable pattern.