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Summary

Featuring royal residences and aristocratic splendors such as Blenheim Palace and Highclere Castle - the setting for Downton Abbey - this wonderful publication delves into the history of some of Britain's most famous historic houses. Secrets of the Manor House provides a fascinating insight into life at these splendid properties down the centuries and profiles the celebrated personalities who have left their mark on these architectural masterpieces.

©2015 Go Entertain (P)2016 Go Entertain

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Interesting and informative

What made the experience of listening to Secrets of the Manor House the most enjoyable?

An interesting and informative summary of some of the stately homes the British Isles, and Ireland.

This audiobook was very well narrated and gave a brief glimpse into the lives of the great but, in some cases, not so good, of bygone eras. It contains some amazing snipits of information, for example the stately house where Downton Abbey was filmed really was used as a hospital during the war. I was a bit disappointed that there were no little anecdodes about the Irish houses.

Would you recommend Secrets of the Manor House to your friends? Why or why not?

yes

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    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful Gem Describing Historic Estates.

Any additional comments?

Secrets of the Manor House by Hilary Brown is aptly titled, as it's a delightful gem describing the various grand country estates of Great Britain. Besides several large English estates, there are few from Scotland and one in Northern Ireland as well. What I enjoyed most are anecdotes about the scandals and famous happenings over the centuries. For example, Lady Diana's ancestral home is featured and her Spencer ancestors, as is Highclere castle, which is the setting for Downtown Abbey. I found it quite interesting that several plot points in Downtown Abbey came from the history of the Highclere's estate - like housing wounded soldiers from WWI.

Melanie Fraser narrated this Audible version and she was outstanding. Her crisp British accent and soft refined tones were perfect for this audio and really set the stage for imagining a tour of these fine estates. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a Whispersync'd version so I could view photos of the grounds and interiors of the manor houses described while listening along. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys exploring many of England's historical sites.

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  • Sara O'Hagan
  • 03-04-16

Interesting Full Read

I listened to this book after having watched Downton Abbey. I was interested in the history behind that particular home. I found that history interesting. I like how the show found small ways to incorporate the actual history of the house into some of the story lines. The history of the other homes and castles were interesting in their own right and I enjoyed hearing about them as well.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 07-03-16

Great short overview and introduction to British Royal estates

It was extremely interesting. It didn't have any depth in any particular estate. Coerced art architecture hitter of ownership and even tidbits about various hauntings. Enjoyable listen. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookblast in exchange for an unbiased review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Love2Read
  • 02-09-17

Excellent overview of UK manor houses

Have you listened to any of Melanie Fraser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I have listened to other of her audio books. She always delivers an excellent reading or dramatization. This one is equally good as far as her narration goes.

Any additional comments?

4 1/2 stars

This is a lovely little book to listen to. The first three quarters of it provides a great deal of detail about a number of English manor houses, including the builders, owners, architects, landscape designers, connections to various members of the royal family. So many details that even though I've listened to this once, I think it deserves another listen or two in order to organize all the facts in my mind. I will likely sit at the computer on those next listens so that I can Google images of those houses. Having the ebook version before you while listening to the audio book, or as I said, using Google images, would be helpful. Everything else about this book is first rate. The last quarter of the book is primarily a listing of additional manor houses around the UK. This section only provides a few sentences about each estate, but by presenting them, making you aware of them, allows you to do further research on your own.

The narration of this book is clean and clear and makes listening easy. Ms. Fraser has a lovely voice with excellent diction and delivery. I do wonder about a few pronunciations, but given that I've spent my entire life in the US and this book uses a British-sounding narrator, I could very likely be wrong about that. The division of an ocean does make for distinct language and pronunciation differences.

If you're looking for a nice overview of English manor houses, this book will likely satisfy your need. I hope I get the chance to return to England some day and make use of what I've learned from this book.

I received this book as a gift from the narrator. Her generosity had no influence on my opinion of the audio book.

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  • Deedra
  • 17-11-16

Secrets

Melanie Fraser perfectly narrates this short story giving us the story behind many manor houses in Britain.I enjoyed it.I was given this book free for an honest review.

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  • Mary
  • 26-07-16

Interesting Short About Historical English Estates

I received this book in return for a review. Although I love history, I feared that this book may end up being a bore.

I was pleasantly surprised. Although there were a few areas that dragged, overall the book was very interesting, entertaining and informative.

There were some very interesting bits of trivia and anecdotes about the estates and their past owners.

The narration was well done with a very pleasant voice.

For any one with an interest in English history this will be an enjoyable short listen.

“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

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  • Leslie F.
  • 01-05-16

Interesting overview of manors in British Isles

This was a really interesting non-fiction book about the different manors, palaces, etc. in the British Isles. If you have ever watched shows like Downtown Abbey or Upstairs, Downstairs, I think this book will be interesting to you. You will learn about the different places, the history behind them, intrigues that took place in them, and more. One of the most interesting that I learned about was Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed and where the original owner discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen. I've always been fascinated with these famous estates, so it was interesting to learn the history behind them. I listened to the Audible version, narrated by Melanie Fraser, enjoyed the narration. Overall, an interesting, short history (I think the audio is about an hour and a half), that is definitely worth listening to.

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  • EP
  • 20-03-16

British Mansions and Their Histories

Where does Secrets of the Manor House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

While old houses and residences may have their beauty, charm and historical significance, I find that the stories of the characters who've inhabited them to be far more interesting. This is a book about those characters!

While I greatly enjoyed hearing their stories, I found it difficult to anchor my imagination to the physical dwellings described in the audiobook. Therefore, I suggest that the author provide a PDF companion with the book-it certainly would have led me to giving this audiobook a full five stars.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  • Charles
  • 07-03-16

Love this book

I loved this book. It just has everything historical and a bit of spooky ghosts

You can always find a full and Deep review on my blog

Best wishes

ReadingGhost ( blogspot.dk)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Reg
  • 04-03-16

Interesting Listen

Any additional comments?

This book is a really good listen if you will be visiting the UK in the near future. Many of the houses are open to the public to either view or stay in. I would say that the title is misleading as there really are no secrets told as part of this book. The author is repeating the history of each house and highlighting who the most famous owners or occupants have been and describing any scandals they were involved in. There is also some detail for each house that has been used as the backdrop for movies or TV shows as well.

I would have enjoyed the book more had the author gone into the detail of the history of each house and its most famous occupants a little more. I felt like there was more to the story at each stop.

I like the narrator's voice and she gave the reading the right tone and pace.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Blast.

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  • Teresa
  • 29-02-16

Wonderful History of Manors and Castles

SECRETS OF THE MANOR HOUSE is a fabulous audiobook that tells of the most famous manors and castles including the history of each. To name a few are Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed and where the original owner discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen, Hampton Court Palace linked to Henry Vlll, Althorp Manor connected to the Spencer's and Lady Diana, and Ham House that's said to be the most haunted castle in Britain, and many more. I loved listening to this audiobook.

MELANIE FRASER has the most lovely voice ever. I could listen to her all day. She was the perfect narrator for this audiobook. I felt as if I've traveled around England, Great Britain, Wales and Scotland with the best tour guide on the planet. She has excellent voice inflections and made this an amazing listen.

(I have toured a few castles in Germany and Austria). I love history and this was a great book.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for an honest review.