When Christ and His Saints Slept

Plantagenets, Book 1
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
Series: Plantagenets Series, Book 1
Length: 36 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (699 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In When Christ and His Saints Slept, the first of a trilogy that will tell the story of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, master storyteller and historian Sharon Kay Penman illuminates one of the less known but fascinating periods of English history. It begins with the death of King Henry I, son of William the Conqueror and father of Maude, his only living legitimate offspring.  

Contains mature themes.

©1995 Sharon Kay Penman (P)2019 Tantor
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    424
  • 4 Stars
    157
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    27
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    382
  • 4 Stars
    144
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    29
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    405
  • 4 Stars
    132
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    21

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Please release Pt 2!

This book is exquisite! Historical Fiction at its very best. I was absolutely thrilled to see SKP’s very famous book, When Christ and His Saints Slept, released in audio format. It’s even better than I expected! Anne Flosnik hasn’t always been my favorite narrator, but she is perfect for this. Her performance is flawless.
Once I finished half the book, and had fallen in love with Penman’s writing, I searched everywhere for info as to if/when the rest of the books would be released. Sadly I can find no information whatsoever. Audible please continue with this series. It’s so much better than anything else I’ve read lately!

127 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Remarkable Book

Sharon Kay Penman is a truly gifted author. Her books transport you to their stories through a vivid detail that is unparalleled in historical fiction novels. I wish audible would get all of her books.

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

At Last

I've been waiting years for this book to become an audio book, as I have wanted to share it with my blind mother-in-law. This is an all time favorite of mine. Sharon Penman is simply the gold standard in historical fiction of this era. She is an amazing story teller with an academics gift for research. She has taken facts and woven a story that is hard to put down. One of those books that stays with you long after its over. If you interested in the era of the anarchy of the 1st English Civil War and the beginning of the Plantagenet Empire, you must read this novel. I can't wait for the rest of Sharon Penman's book to become available on audio.

104 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Anarchy & the birth of the Plantagenet Dynasty

When Christ and His Saints Slept is one of the best historical fictions. It tells a story based on history but adds the author's thoughts on the characters' motivation. This takes place during what the contemporaries called The Anarchy. Henry the first's only son, William Adelin, died in 1120 during an attempted channel crossing, leaving only his daughter Maud as heir. To ensure the succession, Henry made all his nobles swear to accept Maud as their ruler. Then he married her, against her will, to Geoffrey of Anjou to protect the southern end of his realms. Maud was not in England when Henry died but her cousin, Stephen of Blois, was. So begins a civil war that spans about 8 years and eventually hits every corner of the Kingdom.

When Christ and His Saints Slept takes a neutral position on both claimants to the throne and their supporters. Both are shown to have weaknesses that lost them support. Penman also gives the reader/listener a wide range of other characters both historical and fictional.

The audiobook is over 36 hrs long. Anne Flosnik is a good narrator. The production values are good. Most Americans think of England as having had only one Civil War in the mid-1600s. The Anarchy was the first civil war and the beginning of the Plantagenet dynasty.

I received a copy of When Christ and His Saints Slept courtesy of Tantor Media in exchange for an honest review.

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite book!

I love everything about this book and all the books that follow it! I hope the narrator will continue to narrate the rest of the books in this series!!

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful! Is Here be Dragons next?

I read this book hungrily back in 1995 or so after zooming through the Here Be Dragons series. Thank you, thank you whoever finally decided to record this earlier book by Sharon Kay Penman. I enjoyed it so much. Reading/listening to a well constructed, accurate historical novel is such a pleasure. It is NOT a romance novel. It follows the actual history but with the thoughtful filling in of imagined interpersonal happenings.

At first, I was not sure about Anne Flosnik, but by the end I was sure she had to narrate the rest of the series. Some female narrators are screechy and make a book unlistenable. Not this actor. Her male voices (which I think are hard to pull off by women) are very, very good. Ms. Flosnik won me over and I will now consider listening to a book based on her abilities.

I listened to this book STRAIGHT THROUGH over three days and I am asking that Tantor Media or whichever audio book firm recorded this to please record Time and Chance and Devils Brood, but mostly PLEASE, PLEASE record the Here Be Dragons trilogy. I think anyone who is a Sharon Kay Penman fan yearns for that trilogy more than any of her other books.

Sharon Kay Penman is one of the BEST historical novelists who ever wrote the genre. If SKP's books were being written now instead of the 1980's or '90's they would all be recorded (like Phillipa Gregory) but SKP's book are so much more substantial without all the wild imaginings that go on in lesser historical novels. Many use over the top theories or lots of sex to fill the chinks of history or many repeating phrases.

I highly recommend this book to any and all SKP fans. When you start listening, just settle in, you will soon be lost in the story.

92 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

When Christ and His Saints Slept

As usual, Sharon is the best, factually and how she develops and tells the story. I love her work, am trying to read all her books. I love the historical care she takes with the characters and available information. It really comes to life and is very hard to put down once started.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sometimes I Slept

At first the narrator seems to be ill matched for the material being read but as time goes on a familiarity begins and one can't help but to get wrapped up in the characters and individual storylines. Dull in places and maddening in others, especially today when "THE Church" no longer holds the power it once had you begin to understand that life is NEVER a simple tale and malevolent is a point of view.

Oh, and I learned what a "bar sinister" meant. That was worth it in itself.

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More from this author, please!

I have now read all three of Audible’s offerings from Sharon Kay Penman, but there are so many more! These are big, rich historical novels set in the Middle Ages, and I want more!
This was a little slow to start, and a little confusing because of two Mauds (actually one Maud and one Maude, and in the the history books, one of them was also known as Mathilda, but in this book Mathilda was the enemy of Maud/Matilda). Anyway, it all sorted itself out, and the book was ultimately very engaging. I wish there were a way for audio books to publish a dramatis personae, or maps where relevant, without having to get the kindle version.

46 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's a bit underwhelming

I listened for 11 hours before I gave up. There are parts of the story that are interesting, but often times it reads like a documentary and I had a really hard time staying interested. I love historical fiction, I love the era and I love reading about old England. However, this story has many, many characters and it was hard for me to track. The narrator has a pleasant voice and probably did the best she could with so much going on, but I found myself lost most of the time. There was not much emotion conveyed, it was hard to tell the characters apart, and it became a bit monotonous. I might go back and revisit it some day, but it's hard for me to imagine listening to this for 36 hours.

14 people found this helpful