Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

The 15th century saw the crown of England change hands seven times as the great families of England fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. 

The Hollow Crown completes Dan Jones' epic history of medieval England, and describes how the Plantagenets tore themselves apart to be finally replaced by the Tudors.  

Some of the greatest heroes and villains in British history were thrown together in these turbulent times: Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt and prudent rule at home marked the high point of the medieval monarchy; Edward IV, who was handed his crown by the scheming soldier Warwick the Kingmaker, before their alliance collapsed into a fight to the death; and the last Plantagenet, Richard III, who stole the throne and murdered his own nephews, the Princes in the Tower. Finally, the Tudors arrived - but even their rule was only made certain in the 1520s, when Henry VIII ruthlessly hunted down his family's last remaining enemies. 

In the midst this tumult, chivalry was reborn, the printing press arrived and the Renaissance began to flourish. With vivid descriptions of the battle of Towton, where 28,000 men died in a single morning, and the Battle of Bosworth Field, at which Richard III was hacked down, this is the real story behind Shakespeare's famous history plays.

©2014 Dan Jones (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Hollow Crown

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    549
  • 4 Stars
    151
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    508
  • 4 Stars
    110
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    505
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

More unbelievable then Game of Thrones!!

Dan Jones clearly loves the subject matter and its infectious. My only complaint is that I want more. We are told in education a lot about the Tudors and I have never understood why the Plantagenets have take back seat when they're so fascinating. War, murder, friendship, betrayal, it has it all.

A must read for history fans.

23 people found this helpful

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

History by a true historian

There are so many celebrity historians around now however Dan Jones is one of the best. He brings history to life!

As my favourite period in history by far, I thought I knew all about the Wars Of The Roses but there was such much detail in this book I now know even more which is great.

You’re a bit of a star Mr Jones - not only do you write incredibly detailed and interesting books, you are one of the best narrators I’ve heard!

Thoroughly enjoyable experience all round. Even if you are not into history, you will find the Plantagenets a fascinating story.

14 people found this helpful

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

Vivid account of a turbulent period in history

I really enjoyed this splendid and scholarly narrative bringing vividly to life the divisive events of the 15th century as the War of the Roses tore the country apart before the eventual conquest by the Tudor dynasty. I found it helped to remind myself of the genealogy of the different claimants to the throne via an online website as the respective rankings are complex owing to the lack of a direct line of decent from Edward III. This period of history is so full of events it makes for a gripping listen excellently narrated by the author.

9 people found this helpful

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

insightful and a good listen.

enjoyed the book the narrative was very good and made it easy to listen to.

9 people found this helpful

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

Enter the Tudors... but why?

You’ll find out just how and why and what a convoluted tumult surrounded the crown of England during this time of great scheming across France, England and Europe, politics today is a poor cousin of the dastardly actions of all sides in this period. Fascinating, informative and enjoyable.

11 people found this helpful

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

Wars of the Roses

This is in effect the Wars of the Roses and is a rollicking good tale. Real life Game of Thrones.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!

Really interesting, well read, entertaining. Looking for more written by, and read by,Dan Jones. Proper historian! Chris

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent thought-provoking book.

Oh why wasn't this written forty years ago when I was studying this period for A'level history! I'd have read this book both for studying and enjoyment (and might even have got a better grade). Ah well, I can enjoy the book now without thoughts of impending 3 hour exams, and it has shed new light on what I remember being taught (if only I'd kept my history notes for comparison). This book is a pleasure to listen to, especially at night when sleep seems unattainable.

Dan Jones has a distinct reading voice which is easy to listen to and he is interesting without being over-dramatic. That he's reading his own words makes, I think, a big difference as he obviously wants his audience to appreciate the subject. In addition, his reading is free from the mistakes in pronunciation which sometimes bedevil readers who are not familiar with the subject matter. I've just bought The Plantagenets and look forward to some more sleepless nights.

3 people found this helpful

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

Bunch of Roses

Excellent historical fare well presented by the author. You couldn't make up a better historical yarn!

6 people found this helpful

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

Great book, well read

I learned a lot about the War of the Roses from this book, and came away with a much better appreciation of the 15th century in general. The author cuts through the centuries-old Tudor propaganda to offer his own explanation for the political turmoil in the 15th century (hint: Henry VI has a lot to do with it). The treatment of controversial figures such as Warwick (Neville) and Richard III also feels quite balanced.



What makes this audio book great is its read by its author, Dan Jones. As such, he reads it with pace and enthusiasm throughout. The narrative history style gives some great descriptions of key events, and sets the scenes nicely. It also cites heavily from the various chroniclers, so feels very well researched. It's also quite funny when you hear Jones' own view of Henry VI come through, which he can barely contain, whom he considers utterly supine and pathetic.



I would definitely recommend this book, but would recommend starting with his earlier book, "The Plantagenets", first, as it covers the period before the War of the Roses, and is also a great book. The earlier Plantagenet kings are referenced throughout the Hollow Crown, so it helps to have an idea of the general Plantagent dynasty before you start - particularly, for instance, how they see themselves as having a claim over large swathes of France from Henry II's day, and the constitutional precedents set by the ends of Edward II and Richard II's reigns, in contrast to that of Edward V.



My only criticism is that it can get a big bogged down in lots and lots of names of various minor Earls, Dukes, Princes etc., that are hard to remember, who are not necessarily impactful in the bigger picture. As such, some sections become a detailed cataloguing of who was where and when, and whose side they were on. On the one hand, this is a history book, and these are important facts of history. However, on the other, the trade-off for so much detail is that it slows the pace and overloads the reader, in a book whose stated aim is also to entertain. (Apologies for wall of text - audible is not allowing me to write in paragraphs).

2 people found this helpful