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Summary

"Tim and I both understood we had done something really stupid. We had underestimated the danger involved in going out to sea. We had no radio, compass, life raft, or flares. In other words, we were a couple of idiots."

This is the story of Shane and Timothy Spall and their Dutch barge, The Princess Matilda. After a summer on the Thames they head out to sea with only a road atlas and a vast amount of ignorance - and it is absolutely terrifying!

On their travels, memories are triggered of childhood trips to the seaside, but also of more recent times.

As Tim and Shane explore the coast from the Medway to Cornwall, eventually they start to wonder: Could they make it out of England altogether? Could Matilda make it to ... Wales?!

Taking place over the course of five years, The Voyages of the Princess Matilda is a minor epic, charting a very personal, moving, and uplifting story of an everyday couple's adventure around their much-loved homeland. The Spalls' adventures have already been the subject of two BBC4 series.

©2012 Shane Spall (P)2012 Random House AudioGo LTD

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Voyages if the Princess Matilda

This book was not as I expected, having read Naroow Dog, I expected similar. This is in some way but it is not Narrow Dog. I listened to this book not realising who Timothy Spall was, until I looked him up. This is very much about people, feelings, and places. It has made me want to visit parts of England I have never been, it has also made me want to live on a boat more than ever.



I was not expecting the story of Timothys illness, and at first I was a bit put off as I bought the book thinking it was about the boat journey. However once I got used to the paragraphs of emotion I settled down to enjoy was a great story. This book made me cry and it made me smile, I was sad when the journey ended and the book finished, my escaping had to end.



This is a story of two peoples love for each other and their family and their love of a boat and this country. The journey is just part of that story



Great read

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional voyage

Amazing, so touching. Two books in one. I've lost count how many times I've listened to this fabulous book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • Reading, United Kingdom
  • 21-09-17

Stick with this journey as it will be worth it

What did you like most about The Voyages of the Princess Matilda?

The narration was brilliant.

I like the juxtaposition of the physical journey on the sea and Shane Spall's personal journey with her husband's illness.

What other book might you compare The Voyages of the Princess Matilda to, and why?

This is not like the usual travelogues and funny tales of being at sea or relocating to foreign parts . It is not a lightweight book and although there are funny moments these are outweighed by the tender moments.

Which character – as performed by Frances Barber – was your favourite?

The voice she used for Shane when she was talking directly to Tim rather than just narrating was so tender. I think Frances Barber's narration was brilliant.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A personal journey

Any additional comments?

It took me a while to get into this book.
I initially bought it because I am familiar with Sheppey where they run aground and so knew that coast line. This is so much more than an account of a sea journey but I really felt I could have done with a map to begin with. There were times that I felt a bit lost at sea and wondered where this story was heading. It took me several attempts to finish listening.

After a while I became more interested in the sub plot of her loving relationship with Tim. Now at the end of the book I think of the sea journey as the sub plot.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A lovely book

A beautiful story, wonderfully narrated. I loved every minute of it. But surely it doesn't end in Wales. More please...





  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Can't wait untill her next one!

I really like Shane Spall style and the narrators delivery is spot on. Having seen the series on TV I was not sure of how the book would turn out, but it was first class and now I cant wait till her next episode - excellent listen!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A must for any boater!

Having watched their wonderful adventures on TV, I both laughed and cried listening to this audio book, usually within the same few minutes.

This book covers them getting the boat, early adventures on the Thames and coastal cruising along the south coast and finally to Wales and of course Tim's life threatening illness.

Thank you for sharing this with us and please can we have the next parts of the journey on audible asap.

Em xx