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Where does 1066: The Year That Changed Everything rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It's definitely one of the better books I've listened to. For certain it ranks among the best non-fiction titles in my library.
Who was your favorite character and why?
William the Conqueror — because that's who the story is mostly about. I was also very intrigued by Emma of Normandy. She's a historical figure I knew little about before listening to this, and I was surprised by just how large her role was in the political side of the events leading up to the Norman invasion of England.
What about Professor Jennifer Paxton’s performance did you like?
She really brings the history to life with a very vivid and entertaining performance. It's easy to see that she enjoys her work. ... If only all my high school and college history instructors had lectured so well!
Any additional comments?
I choose this lecture as the first one I listened to in the Great Courses series to see how I like the series simply because it was short and cheap. It has definitely persuaded me to listen to more of the series.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
If you are into political conflicts, too many characters to handle them in a 4-season family soap and have the slightest interest in real history (along with its outcome in the "modern" picture of Europe): The minutes spent in listening to this short course are definitely of the better ways of killing time.
Mrs. Paxton lectures in a well paced manner, giving her subjects enough differentiation for the listener to not get lost and, most of the time, manages to avoid boredom from simply listing up places, times and names. Well, yes, most of the time - and you do not always get the impression that she is reading her lines from a sheet of paper. Not always :-)
Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?
What I like about some of the Great Courses is the impression that the tutors seem to know their topic inside out. In the case of this (very brief, condensed) overview it seems a bit like a collection of data, brought into "digestible dramatic form" and more or less professionally presented, but not necessarily a matter of the heart.
Being slightly familiar with the families, parties and even geographies covered in the course I could "make my way around", but would probably have had my problems in following who is who and what is what about without that background knowledge.
Some actions during that time had a "long time coming", there were certain historic and/or personal events driving individuals and parties to act the way they did. Mrs. Paxton only hinted at a few of those, and too often just in subordinate clauses, where half an hour of additional time spent at those background might have helped.
So one could say: Since this course is not "just about 1066", but about 10-15 years around that date, it could have done with twice the length it offers.
Have you listened to any of Professor Jennifer Paxton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
What exactly is it that has caught Mrs. Paxton's personal interest in the time around 1066? I did not get that.
Any additional comments?
Don't expect much of an insight into "why" things happened. This course is about "what", "when" and, in terms of pure names, "who". Without some basic understanding who the acting parties were, where they came from and what they turned into, you might get lost.
With some overview of the "tapestry" around the 11th century (and, not less important, the 50-100 years before that) this course gives a nice, dense overview on the "English reconfiguration".
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Well, if you want to have a deeper understanding on the conquest and the situation that led up to it, this is vital. This contains the nuance often missing from the open/closed dichotomy taught in schools
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
Emma Of Normandy Queen of England is so Pivotal, but I had never heard of her before. She fled to Normandy with her sons, She was the mother to the last Anglo-Saxon King Edward the confessor, who spent his formative years in Normandy.
Did Professor Jennifer Paxton do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
Professor Paxton, is a really lively and expressive teacher. She was exhaustive in her explanations. Can't speak highly enough of her.
Did 1066: The Year That Changed Everything inspire you to do anything?
Do my own research
Any additional comments?
After doing my own research I found out that William the conqueror's wife Matilda Duchess of Normandy herself was descended from Alfred the great.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
very short, maybe the Norman conquest including Ireland would give more substance. Great execution none the less
1 of 1 people found this review helpful