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Summary

In this novel of alternative history from best-selling author Harry Turtledove, the Spanish Armada has conquered England, King Phillip holds the English throne, and Elizabeth I languishes as a prisoner in the Tower of London. Meanwhile, in London, a mysterious stranger approaches young playwright William Shakespeare with an offer that could change the course of history.

©2002 Harry Turtledove (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Ruled Britannia

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Wonderfully thought through Alternative History

I've listened to this book three times over, it's so full of twists and turns that I could probably listen another ten times more. Thoroughly recommended, especially if you're a Shakespeare fan, all manner of little gems crop up in their conversations. I've not read alternative history before, so this was a really great introduction.

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The master of alternative history strikes again!

Thoroughly believable stuff from Mr Turtledove. A gripping, well performed story bringing Will Shakespeare, Burbage, Kemp et al into centre stage in a plot to oust the hated Spanish occupation, and restore Queen Elizabeth to the throne. A well observed and amusing tale.

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Shakespeare's English

I don't believe anyone who has not studied Shakespeare's plays could understand let alone enjoy this story. It uses Shakespearean English all the way through which makes a little difficult to understand at times even for me and I love Shakespear

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Disappointing

I love Turtledoves books, but this was dull, drawn out and I couldn't wait for it to finish. definitrly not his best work.

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  • Matthew B.
  • 18-07-19

Good Story

A good period peice but a bit tedious. Not much of an action book if that is what you are looking for.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-04-21

Great book!

The book was very well written and the narrator was fantastic! I highly recommend this book.

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  • Zachary Kaplan
  • 26-01-21

There is no epilogue, unless YOU make it...

As usual for his standalone novels, Turtledove provides us with an alternate world that is both unique and imaginative. Not only does the story drip-feed interesting information concerning conquered England, we're given a grim picture of the Inquisition's authority and methods that properly illustrate the scale of the danger all Englishmen face. As for the bard himself, the novel does a superb job in Shakespeare's portrayal as a simple playwright in circumstances way over his head; always walking the razor's edge and never knowing until the end which path he'll choose. As for Lope de Vega, he was an amusing POV character in regards to both his military duties and his escapades with women. Some may be put off by the Shakespearean language used throughout the book, but it's really not that hard to follow. In regards to the narrator, he does a good job both giving each character their own voices and jumping back and forth between accents. So sit back and enjoy the show.

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  • GT Doc
  • 21-07-20

Disappointed

I wish I could have enjoyed this. The pace and plot just seemed to be stuck. Odd bits here and there but, for me, there wasn't enough story to keep me involved.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-19

Well worth the listening

This is an entertaining book and listening to it is even more enjoyable because the narrator handles the many voices and the Elizabethan English with great dexterity. The author shows his usual skill at twisting history into a plausible alternative and then describing how the real historical characters would respond according to what we know of their personalities. I do suspect that the author may have written it mainly for the joy of writing dialogue in Elizabethan English, and of devising Shakespearean insults, taunts, and curses. All in all, it is a most excellent tale, and well-told!

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  • Angela
  • 28-07-19

Turtledove fan very disappointed this time

Mr Patterson narration was so good it motivated me to keep on listening, but I got increasingly disappointed with the story line. I finally gave up after a few chapters. Even making allowances for the fact that this is fiction, I found it impossible to accept that anyone could behave as recklessly as Shakespeare does under the nose of the Spanish Inquisition, and not get either caught or denounced as traitor.