The book "A History of Britain: Volume 1" covers British dynastic rulers from the time of the end of the Roman Empire until the end of the life of Elisabeth I.
As such, for the lay public, such as I, this is a perfectly-sized overview of all the British kings that one has heard about but that one will probably never read a biography of (with the exception of Henry VIII and Elisabeth I).
The only negative to this otherwise excellent book, is that the author begins with a pondering and philosophical introduction that rambles on for 26 minutes and almost made me stop listening. But I did not, and I am glad as the rest of the book is clear and unpretentious, even very humourous at times.
The title "The Children of Henry VIII" was probably chosen to tie in to the book "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", and as a marketing gimmick. It's too bad as it might discourage people who want a good interesting yet serious telling of the transition from Henry VIII to Elisabeth I.
This book starts at the death of Henry VIII and ends with the accession to the throne of Elisabeth I, and provides an excellently woven history of these turbulent years. Edward VI, Catherine Grey (not a child of Henry VIII), and Mary Tudor, may not justify a general public biography each, but combined and intertwined this is well worthy of spending 15+ hours of one's time. If you ever wondered what happened after Henry VIII, this book is for you.
The history is fascinating, the story is well written and the text is well read.
Not having been to school in the UK, I had never heard of Henry VII, and purchased this title on a whim, based on other reviewers' praise for this audiobook. I do not regret it.
On the one hand it is a perfect "prequel" to the life of Henry VIII and sheds much light into the context in which Henry VIII became king (in particular his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the immense wealth he found when acceding to the throne, and the wild popularity he enjoyed at the beginning of his reign).
On the other hand it depicts Henry VII, an immensely interesting king in his own right. At a time when all European monarchs were cash-strapped due to their incessant wars, Henry VII studiously avoided wars and became the only cash-rich king of Europe. His attention to details (micromanagement) was probably also a plus as compared to other kings who let councilors run amok.
The book is a bit frustrating at times as it often doubles-back to tell the story of a new protagonist, just at the time when we are getting to a crucial point (such as the wedding of Arthur to Catherine of Aragon).
One point I liked about the book is that it did not end abruptly with the death of Henry VII, and goes on for about 30 minutes with the aftermath of his reign. Having had other biographies (Jean Edward Smith's FDR and Eisenhower come to mind) stop within half a page of the death of the biography's subject, it was nice to have the author's take on the transition to come.
The reader is excellent and nicely emphasizes the quoted, old English, parts of the text, so that one always knows what is a quote and what is the author's text.