Foundation : The History of England

  • by Peter Ackroyd
  • Narrated by Clive Chafer
  • Series: The History of England
  • 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this massive best seller in England, one of Britain's most popular and esteemed historians tells the epic story of the birth of the country.
Peter Ackroyd, whose work has always been underpinned by a profound interest in and understanding of England's history, now tells the epic story of England itself.
In Foundation the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us from the primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, in 1509. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country's most distant past - a Neolithic stirrup found in a grave, a Roman fort, a Saxon tomb, a medieval manor house - and describes in rich prose the successive waves of invaders who made England English despite being themselves Roman, Viking, Saxon, or Norman French.
With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and his acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, civil strife, and foreign wars. But he also gives us a vivid sense of how England's early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought vividly to life through the narrative mastery of one of Britain's finest writers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Most Annoying Narrator EVER

What did you like best about this story?

Love the story and the history which, of course, is why I bought it. But oh my! The narrator!


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clive Chafer?

ANYONE but him. Most annoying. He has this odd cadence by which every 5th word is high pitched and he cannot make any phrase longer than 6 words. Hated it. But fascinated with the story. 19 hours of trying not to notice this narrator's jaw-clenching speech pattern. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!


Any additional comments?

Would really like to buy The Tudors but that would mean 18 more hours of this dreadful narrator. Not sure I can willingly buy into that.

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- JudieBee

A fix for the narration

Would you listen to Foundation again? Why?

I enjoyed it but I have it in hardcover so if I want to refer to it, I'll use the physical book.


What did you like best about this story?

The author keeps things moving while still covering a lot of history.


What does Clive Chafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

When I first started listening, the narration was very annoying because it is so slow. I finally set the speed to 1.5 and that solved the problem for me. It was enough to sound normal and didn't distort the voice. I plan to do the same thing for the other books in the series.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction, but it definitely motivated me to read the other books.


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- pm444

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-24-2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.