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Far better histories of the British out there

3 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-03-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

She is possibly the most annoying person to listen to. Her constant mispronunciation (berg for borough got particularly annoying at one point) and her penchant for talking to you like you were 14 years old with learning problems definitely starts to grate after a while. I don't know whether she was asked to do this for an American audience, but she also loves going off on one in relation to what is best described as legends. King Arthur is not a historical figure, at best there is evidence of warlords in a period when there were probably a lot of warlords (what else was there to do in post roman times), yet he apparently warrants a lecture. She also gives a string of anecdotes, normally along the lines of 'so and so was said to have killed a dragon and then saw the virgin Mary', to which she will confidently proclaim that while that probably didn't happen (its important to say this) it tells us a lot about the personality of the person in question. Her treating of UK history is also fairly superficial nothing you wont have herd in the past if you have any interest in this area. Please don't waste your time with this, while Sharma may be a little bit up himself, his history of the same period was significantly better in a 'popular history' type format, same goes for Starkey. I would seriously avoid this rambling rubbish. To summarise I don't think this was for me.

Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?

This is the third of these courses I have listened to in a row, and I have loved the other two (one on language by and one on ancient civilisations). I guess they cant all be great.

Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Jennifer Paxton’s performances?

Only under pain of death

If this book were a film would you go see it?

not really relevant, but if it had Samuel Jackson playing Alfred the Great I would consider it

12 people found this helpful