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The Victorians

Twelve Titans Who Forged Britain
Narrated by: Jacob Rees-Mogg
Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Victorians, written and read by Jacob Rees-Mogg.

They built a nation. Now it’s our turn.

Many associate the Victorian era with austere social attitudes and filthy factories. But in this bold and provocative book, Jacob Rees-Mogg - leading Tory MP and prominent Brexit advocate - takes up the story of 12 landmark figures to paint a very different picture of the age: one of bright ambition, bold self-belief and determined industriousness.

Whether through Peel’s commitment to building free trade, Palmerston’s deft diplomacy in international affairs, or Pugin’s uplifting architectural feats, the Victorians transformed the nation and established Britain as a preeminent global force.

Now, 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria, it is essential that we remember the spirit, drive and values of the Victorians who forged modern Britain as we consider our future as a nation.

©2019 Jacob Rees-Mogg (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

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Incredibly informative! I recommend this to anyone.

I am assuming that a large amount of the negative reviews are simply due to the public’s opinion of Rees-Mogg as a person as opposed to the contents of this book.
The language is very formal but I feel like it’s the best way to fully transform the reader into the Victorian age of innovation and change. I thoroughly enjoyed the tone of writing and this accompanied with Rees-Mogg’s eloquent way of speaking is why I found this book so enjoyable to read and listen to.
This book really challenged my preconceived notions of conservatism and it has given me insight into a world of politics that is so different from today’s.
I highly recommend this to anyone interested in history or politics. Jacob Rees-Mogg has a podcast called “Moggcast” where an hour excerpt of the audio book is available for free. I would suggest that people listen to this first so they can form their own opinion of this book before blindly believing the negative reviews.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Thugs!

What a brilliant book! I essentially liked the detailed description of thuggy. I would highly recommend to anyone who loves or is just interested in British history.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Poor narration and lack of contextual explanation

Politically speaking, JRM is the man for me. So when I heard he’d written a book about noteworthy Victorians I thought I’d take a look. So too, I read a lot of the criticism and chose to ignore it believing it to be politically motivated criticism attacking the man rather than his book.

Regrettably, the critics were by and large correct. It’s a difficult book to listen to. Despite being a very articulate speaker in the Commons, his narration is terrible! For one thing, he rushes far too fast. There’s also occasional background noise. And it’s just so clunky; you can tell where he’s stopped and picked it up again with more enthusiasm. I’m genuinely surprised that his narration was so awful. He really should’ve outsourced it to a professional.

Regarding the actual book itself, it relies heavily on a good knowledge of the Victorian era. He talks about events as if they happened recently and we’d all know what he’s referring to without any background elaboration or explanation. The comical label he’s picked up (the right honourable member for the 19th century) seems wholly apt here.

All that said, I did get some enjoyment from this book, but I couldn’t recommend it. And, it won’t stop me voting for him!

7 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Ignore the sneerers and haters...

This really is an excellent and informative book about the Victorian era and acts as a great corrective the modern take on history we're so often obliged to put up with these days. It gives a very fair-minded account of several great Victorians, and has inspired me to find out more about them as individual's. Critics of this book have either not read or listened to it, or are allowing their own political prejudices to colour their judgment. Ignore them. I learned a lot and really enjoyed it, and I'm sure many others will, too.


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Loved it

A balanced study and wonderful antidote to the often unchallenged, negative image of the Victorians.
I found the author's choice of Victorians interesting and in some cases (Sleeman and Gordon) quite educational. He also is clearly fascinated by his subject. It is not a polemic - although I suspect some will mischievously try to present it as such.
As for narration, his diction and pace are exemplary and make it a pleasure to listen to.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A tremendous read/listen.....

A very enjoyable fact filled listen that should be read by all that have an interest in our history and political development. It’s an English trait to decry and rubbish our past and this book goes some way to set the record straight and for us to be proud as a nation through a better understanding of our past.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-07-19

Enjoyed the book

It was more of a story from a character whose opinions and views were shaped by the Victorians.

This has been panned by most critics but the Rees-Mogg doesn't for their mould and is used to it.