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I adore this series of history books and particularly this narrator (Timothy West). If you need a comprehensive overview of British history then look no further,Schama has done a cracking job which contains different aspects to his TV adaptation. Start with Volume 1 and sit back and learn as much as any college degree
Schamas apologist stance for all wrongs done in Britains name moves from the tiresome to the annoying by the end. Not sure how this character is considered an English historian.
Perhaps the most comprehensive reference to British constitutional history between the Tudar period until the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. A fascinating period in history, written with wit and great knowledge by Scharma and delivered with class by West.
"History as art and entertainment"
Timothy West is one of the best narrators I have heard, and here makes a good book into a great and riveting one. He brings the book to life. This is a brilliant buy if you want to find out whether you like listening to books, although you may be disappointed later on if you expect other narrators to be as good as this.
The TV series were good but West makes a better job of reading the work than Schama made of presenting it in pictures. Schama's genius is to vary the pace of the narrative and move the story along by switching from big themes to personal details and reminiscences. He has an instinctive feel for the linkages between different places and times. His judgments about the main characters are balanced and sympathetic, without letting the villains or fools off the hook. If you want a good introduction to Stuart Britain, this is the book to buy. England, Scotland and Ireland get a fair share of the tale, which is sometimes missing in the work of other writers. The next volume, through to the present, is just as good, but more contemplative.
"A favourite entry in my audio library"
This series is one of my favourite audio series in my library. I regularly rotate audio books out of my iPod Touch library to make room for other audiobooks, but this series always stays. The narrator's tone aligns wonderfully with the author's writing style. This series meets my expectations perfectly - there's a lot of history to cover so of course the author had to be choosy regarding what to emphasize. If one of his intentions was to spark the reader/listener's interest and use this series as a jumping-off point for our own explorations into specific periods of history, then the author was successful. I have absolutely no regrets at all about purchasing this audio series. Both the narrator and the author are excellent story-tellers.
"Masterful, vivid storytelling of history"
History come vividly alive, with people and events throughly analysed and colourfully, masterfully explained. The narration is excellent too. Not to be missed. Brilliant work by one of Britain's finest historians.
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