Regular price: £29.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough (1644-1722), was one of the greatest military commanders and statesmen in the history of England. Victorious in the Battles of Blenheim (1704) and Ramillies (1706) and countless other campaigns, Marlborough, whose political intrigues were almost as legendary as his military skill, never fought a battle he didn't win.

Marlborough also bequeathed the world another great British military strategist and diplomat, his descendant, Winston S. Churchill, who wrote this book to redeem Marlborough's reputation from Macaulay's smears. One million words long and ten years in the making, Churchill's Marlborough stands as both a literary and historical masterpiece, giving us unique insights into the Churchill of World War II, for just as Churchill's literary skill helps us understand the complexities of Marlborough's life, so too did his writing of Marlborough help Churchill master the arts of military strategy and diplomacy.

Listen to all four volumes here.

©2015 Winston Churchill (P)2015 Audible Studios

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

You had better come prepared

Would you consider the audio edition of Marlborough: His Life and Times to be better than the print version?

For historians and serious history students, a work of this complexity is more suitable in written form. However, I would not have had the patience or the eyesight to read this mammoth work. I must thank Audible for making the audio edition available.

Any additional comments?

I only gave Churchill's hagiography of his famous ancestor a rating because I had to. Certainly Sean Barrett deserves 6+ stars. To provide an 80+ hour performance which does not annoy or irritate the listener is a real art.
This is an uncompromising book. It assumes the reader has a working knowledge of English and European 17th century history and social conditions. Any listener is recommended to be armed with a detailed map of Europe in 1700. I have a good knowledge of Flemish geography, having lived in villages which Marlborough's army marched across, but I was constantly running to my historical atlas. Names of British politicians change when they are ennobled, so if you lose concentration, you may miss that Henry St John suddenly disappears and Bolingbroke enters stage left.
The book was written 80 years ago in WSC's best florid Victorian style, so the prose can seem unusual at times.
However, despite these cautions, I do recommend it to those with an interest in history and politics, if only as a reminder that the ambitions and machinations of today's politicians are no different to those of their predecessors.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of Churchill's best.

Great detail and research often drawing on primary historical sources. Excellently read by Sean Barrett one of my favourite audible narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

Great book well written gives a good insight into Malborough's life and the political patronage of the early 18th century

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

Tremendous work. Gives one a great understanding as to how our modern nation with its concept of parliamentary democracy was forged and how the present relationship with the monarchy came to be and how much is owed to Marlborough's consolidation of the triumph of Protestantism at the time.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Epic work of true Historical drama

This major work tells the true story of England in 1700s from Charles2 to Anne

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 28-12-16

Long, but what a story!

The Duke of M lived and lead in the middle of fascinating times. Well written, and well-spiced with the author's own point of view. Never ducks a controversy and had strong views. If you are looking for even-handed, this is not. But what fun!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Troy
  • 13-12-16

A commitment to undertake, but well worth it!

This book is a slow burning kettle of surprises that ultimately leaves the reader satisfied. I originally selected it in order to get to know the military situation during the War of Spanish Succession and the story of one of the great captains. The story hits the mark for those seeking military history but veers heavily into politics. At first this was off putting, but quickly becomes equally entertaining in its own right. Churchill again proves that he was a master of turning a phrase and authoring an entertaining history.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Godfree Roberts
  • 17-06-18

Long, detailed and slightly overcooked

In 1934, while out of power, Churchill received a publishers advance of a million dollars in today's money to write this fulsome testimonial to his great, great grandfather, John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, England's greatest military strategist and commander.

It was an advertisement for his own political career and gave Churchill the opportunity to right many wrongs previous historians had attributed to his famous ancestor. Since Churchill had access to all the Duke's papers, then kept at the family seat of Blenheim Palace (where Churchill himself was born), he was able to rehabilitate his forebear's reputation with great authority.

The work, however, has aged. It is, for today's tastes, over-long and could profitably have been trimmed by a third. The narrator's choice to deliver all ninety hours in a mock-Churchillian accent (a popular indulgence of Churchill narrators) is questionable–especially since Churchill himself abandoned it and spoke clear, unaffected English when, for example, addressing the US Congress.

Carping aside, it is a remarkably detailed glimpse into the inner workings and machinations of the War of the Spanish Succession and a first-hand introduction to a host of fascinating historical characters, from kings and Electors to common soldiers. For those who like their history served long, unshaken and unstirred, this is a treat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • EEEE
  • 25-11-15

WSC

another one in my collection of WSC's audiobook. I enjoyed it very much. I am looking forward to the audible version of the World Crisis ---Churchillian buff...

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jesse Brent
  • 15-07-18

Disappointed

Churchill doesn't just tell the story of his ancestor, he goes into great detail of everything ever said about Marlborough gives an explanation as to why its true or untrue. Too tedious.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-10-17

Awesome listen for history lovers

Winston Churchill is one of my idols and if you love his writings you will not be disappointed in this book. It is very long, I invested about 2 months of commute times and yard work to get through this audio book, but it was well worth it. Marlborough is a fascinating historical figure and I very much enjoyed learning about this very important time in England’s history, highly recommended!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SDB Mike
  • 05-10-17

truly remarkable work by Churchill

take the time and you will be rewarded. This is not a well-known history for most Americans. But it is worth reflecting upon.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • B. Warnsby
  • 20-09-17

Enjoy classic if long history

Great written in the styles that made Churchill the greatest of orators and interesting to consider in the time in was written (the garthering strom )

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 05-08-17

Masterfully written account of the life of the first Churchill.

Wife of John Churchill takes the reader from the end of the English Civil War up to the beginning of the House of Hanover. This account gives a good understanding of how Britain became a true parliamentary democracy and how Europe took shape at the beginning of the 1700s

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Toisach
  • 10-04-16

Utterly unlistenable.

What would have made Marlborough: His Life and Times better?

being able to listen to it.

Any additional comments?

I have tried, 6 times, to download this book. Every time the file is corrupted and unlistenable. It's no good trying to get refund, because I want the damned book!

1 of 18 people found this review helpful