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Summary

This Original multicast drama blends history with fiction to tell the story of Jonah, a young apprentice from London who raises himself from poverty by wit and luck to become one of the most powerful merchants of the age.

A rags-to-riches tale, Jonah's journey spans the breadth of human experience, from the intricacies of Edward III's political intrigues to the cutthroat world of international trade, from the triumphs of war to the agonies of personal loss - love, friendship, joy, heartbreak and glory. Set largely in London, the Scarlet City, the centre of medieval England, the Scarlet City trilogy is a thrilling portrait of the age and the people who made it so rich, colourful and extraordinary.

London, 1330. Jonah Durham grows up in the household of his tyrannical cousin Rupert, and only his grandmother, the calculating Cecilia Hillock, recognizes his talent and intelligence. After her death he inherits a handsome fortune, bestowing him with both wealth and independence but also the wrath of his increasingly dangerous cousin. However, a fateful encounter with the young King Edward III is set to radically change Jonah's life and the future of English cloth production.

Told in three parts, hear Medieval London come to life in this historical epic, Audible Original's most ambitious production to date. Narrated by Miriam Margolyes, OBE (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Romeo + Juliet, Mulan) and starring Douglas Booth (Riot Club, Loving Vincent, Shelley) as Jonah, and Alison Steadman, OBE (Gavin and Stacey, Orphan Black, Shirley Valentine) as Cecilia Hillock.

Also featuring: Daniel Anthony, Josephine Arden, John Banks, Timothy Bentinck, Clare Buckfield, Beth Chalmers, Elliot Chapman, Trevor Cooper, Oliver Coopersmith, Raymond Coulthard, Gareth David-Lloyd, Richard Earl, Andrew French, Helen Goldwyn, James Joyce, Olly McCauley, Tony Millan, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Katarina Olsson, Steven Pacey, Nicholas Pegg, Nigel Planer, Siobhán Redmond, Christopher Ryan, David Schofield, Dan Starkey, Sarah Sutton, Alexander Vlahos, Niky Wardley, Finty Williams, Claire Wyatt.

©2002 Rebecca Gablé (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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Perfectly Formed Tale Hits the Sweet Spot

The short version of this review is that I have pre-ordered part two of this series already . . .

In slightly more words this is a sumptuous production of a very decent story. It's not quite my usual fayre but boy did this chase away the M25 blues on a long drive. You only have to look at the quality of the cast involved to guess how good some of the acting is. More than that it's the form of presentation that really seals the deal though. Having a narrator to push the story along makes such a positive difference compared to an out and out radio play where too often the dialogue is burdened by the need to carry the story and set the scene and so ends up sounding unnatural and stilted. Here the actors are left to play their parts with much greater authenticity. The music adds texture, the sound affects ambience and I even enjoyed the longer gaps between chapters which allowed key points of the story time to sink in - though I suspect they will possibly irritate some.

The story itself is an Edwardian Alan Sugar rags to riches tale and Jonah the lead really does have credulity-stretching luck in being in the right place at the right time which is key to his progress. It's an enjoyable romp and if you're willing to grant the author some license quite exciting too.

I'm very much looking forwards to this one continuing. It's a top quality production and it really does show in that the time spent listening to it passes very, very quickly. Audible should have a real hit on their hands with this one!

67 of 71 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!!

Impressive performances and direction. Waiting for the continuing series.
Also Expect more of these kinds books from audible!

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Nigel
  • Berkshire, UK
  • 07-12-17

Part 1 of 3: An epic masterpiece ** fantastic **

You know when you’ve enjoyed something as you want more, and Scarlet City got me hooked with its fantastic story, voice acting and Miriam Margolyes as the narrator is faultless. Just like reading a great book, these ten hours flew by. It all adds up to a masterpiece, such a shame we’ve now got to wait until February ‘18 for the next part - please Audible bring the release date forward :(

Set in the 1330’s, but with modern language this audio drama has a perfect split between narration and audio play.

It really is completely brilliant!


Massive to all involved with making it. I loved it.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

I Can’t wait for the next book, this was beautifully narrated by Miriam and wonderful actors.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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brilliant

This is the best book I've listened to all year. wonderful narration and a great cast

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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dog walker sussex

Absolutely brilliant. The story brought to life in my living room . More dramas please.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • AG
  • 15-12-17

Apprentice Scarlet City Part 1

Very, very enjoyable. I didn’t want it to end. The varied narrators were great. I can’t wait for part two.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Can't wait to hear Part 2

Beautifully done. I enjoyed this so much I felt at a loss when I got to the end! When can we hear Part 2?

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely fantastic....!

Having read the various reviews on this, I decided to give it a try... Wow, I'm glad I did. A super story, along with some first class performances, a great accompanying soundtrack and great direction given by the narrator.
I really like what Audible have created here, and even ordered part 2 when I was half way through part 1!
Great effort all round, and well worth anyone's time spent listening to the first part of this masterpiece in the making...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Best Audible book ever

This was a full production and so enjoyable to hear. The cast and narrator bring the story to life. I much prefer this format to the usual unabridged single reader books I’ve had in the past.
Now I’m craving the next instalment and more productions of a similar format. Well done Audible!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • UNCHMSUW
  • 01-01-18

Well played but too much gratuitous sex and abuse

The narration and acting is lovely. The main story is very engaging. There however is too much detailed description of sexual violence, seduction and physical violence. I don’t have a problem with addressing real subjects but the descriptions seem to place too much titillating emphasis on prurient subjects especially when read aloud. Some may not be bothered but I wanted to point this out as I did not see it in other reviews. Very uncomfortable to listen to in the car with young teenagers.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mayrelou Stamps
  • 04-01-18

Attention grabber and keeper.

I found the characters fascinating and entertaining. I will be interested to listen to the next part of the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Classy n Sassy
  • 18-12-17

A must listen

Outstanding performance, great story and I cant wait for the next one to come out, this is how they should all be done!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • D. R. H.
  • 17-12-17

Great

This production was amazing! It was like listening to a play. All of the narrators were very good. I was deeply sorry when it was over. The story line is very well done. I can’t wait for Part 2 to emerge into our libraries.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • brandon
  • 10-12-17

Wow, these will be the best audible has to offer.

I have listened to full cast and audio dramatizations but this is supreme. The story, performance all of it was just wow amazing. I can't wait till the next part is released. Trust me you want to experience this! whooohooo!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hildy Karev
  • 20-01-18

Wonderful presentation

I loved this book and could not put it down. It was like being at the theater for the full length of the book. Can’t wait for the next part of the story. Thank you Audible for this production.

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  • Needles
  • 05-01-18

Ludicrous plot delivered by dodgy actors

Seems like someone couldn’t quite finish their Master’s thesis on the history of the 14th century cloth trade in Europe, so rather than waste their research material, opted to write a novel that reads as part Medieval Menu Plan by way of End Blyton’s Famous Five (substitute “lashings of delicious sauces!” for “lashings of ginger ale!”), part Chivalric Fantasy (Medieval Bastard has life saved by King who just happened to be passing by, then goes on to save life of Queen and Queen’s Best Friend; garners Royal Favours allowing unprecedented class-jumping! the headline would read).
If you can manage to suspend disbelief and go along with this unrelenting ludicrosity, you may also enjoy the delights of some very mixed casting for this dramatisation. Douglas Booth in the lead role, has clearly been cast for his sleepy baritone, but a good actor he ain’t. Sadly Alison Steadman’s character dies off too quickly, and Miriam Margolyes at least adds some warmth and charm to the mess. The rest of the cast struggle along variously with some very dodgy “Dutch” accents and truly woeful fake-laughter (cringe!)
All in all, pretty B-grade stuff.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DaNick
  • 04-01-18

Absolutely the best!

This audible original was a very pleasant surprise! I LOVED the narrator (Miriam Margolyes) and each one of the dramatic characters on it!
I cannot wait for the second and third part to come out! Too bad there's no printed english version on any of these books (they're all in german)

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  • Sagar Agarwal
  • 02-01-18

Hungry for me...

My best audiobook so far.. but the wait for further parts is a killer. The full cast adds depth to the mystery of the book.