The story of Britain from the earliest settlements in 3000 BC to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. To look back at the past is to understand the present. In this vivid account of over 4,000 years of British history, Simon Schama takes us on an epic journey which encompasses the very beginnings of the nation's identity, when the first settlers landed on Orkney.
From the successes and failures of the monarchy to the daily life of a Roman soldier stationed on Hadrian's Wall, Schama gives a vivid, fascinating account of the many different stories and struggles that lie behind the growth of our island nation. Simon Schama's major BBC2 series has shown him to be one of our most original and exciting historians.
©2012 Simon Schama (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd
"A Good Overview of Early British Kings"
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.
If you can get past the introduction, which does the book no favours with it's pompous, overly indulgent style, you'll be rewarded with plenty of absorbing tales from the history of our great land. Not an educational text as much as a personal cherry-picking of some of the more notable events. Nonetheless the subject is dusted down and made far more accessible than it was at school. Overall a job well done that stands up to repeated listening.
this is a well read book. i have enjoyed it allot and often go back to it. i was never particularly alert at school and history class mostly went in one ear and out the other. So i decided that i would like to get a better grasp of the events that preceded me and this was great way to start. it is easy going and has just the right level of depth never tacking you to far down a rabbit hole as to make you confused when you reemerge.
"Fun and educational"
I have to start by saying that I love history but I am very much an amateur and so I can't vouch for how accurate this history is. I trust the author as he is often on TV, I remember him on the BBC so I think he is reliable.
This is an easy listen. It is history as story. Schama uses the characters, Kings and others to make the history come alive. I mostly listen my audio books while driving and I had no difficulty following the narrative, something with can be a problem with non fiction books.
I was a bit disappointed that Simon Schama did not narrate the book himself as I know his voice from TV. Having said that Stephen Thorne does a very good job and is easy to listen and to follow.
This is a good book, well read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys history.
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