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The Victorians

Twelve Titans Who Forged Britain
Narrated by: Jacob Rees-Mogg
Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Victorians, written and read by Jacob Rees-Mogg.

They built a nation. Now it’s our turn.

Many associate the Victorian era with austere social attitudes and filthy factories. But in this bold and provocative book, Jacob Rees-Mogg - leading Tory MP and prominent Brexit advocate - takes up the story of 12 landmark figures to paint a very different picture of the age: one of bright ambition, bold self-belief and determined industriousness.

Whether through Peel’s commitment to building free trade, Palmerston’s deft diplomacy in international affairs, or Pugin’s uplifting architectural feats, the Victorians transformed the nation and established Britain as a preeminent global force.

Now, 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria, it is essential that we remember the spirit, drive and values of the Victorians who forged modern Britain as we consider our future as a nation.

©2019 Jacob Rees-Mogg (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

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  • 06-15-19

Poor narration and lack of contextual explanation

Politically speaking, JRM is the man for me. So when I heard he’d written a book about noteworthy Victorians I thought I’d take a look. So too, I read a lot of the criticism and chose to ignore it believing it to be politically motivated criticism attacking the man rather than his book.

Regrettably, the critics were by and large correct. It’s a difficult book to listen to. Despite being a very articulate speaker in the Commons, his narration is terrible! For one thing, he rushes far too fast. There’s also occasional background noise. And it’s just so clunky; you can tell where he’s stopped and picked it up again with more enthusiasm. I’m genuinely surprised that his narration was so awful. He really should’ve outsourced it to a professional.

Regarding the actual book itself, it relies heavily on a good knowledge of the Victorian era. He talks about events as if they happened recently and we’d all know what he’s referring to without any background elaboration or explanation. The comical label he’s picked up (the right honourable member for the 19th century) seems wholly apt here.

All that said, I did get some enjoyment from this book, but I couldn’t recommend it. And, it won’t stop me voting for him!

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