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The time before the Tudors has always confused me - its a turbulent history of different dynasties deposing kings and restorations, of genealogies and bloody battles. The Tower of London the main prison at that time almost had a revolving door on it!
It intrigued me but remained confused - not so after Alison Weir's book. I was riveted and hung on every sentence as the political ambitions were explained as were why and how thing happened in the sequence they did. Weir obviously did extensive research and it showed but not in a negative learned way but in precise and clear explanations.
My only criticisms were the annoying translation of pounds, shillings and pence into modern pounds and "pees" but leaving Marks and Livres totally untranslated to modern amounts and Maggie Mash's accents grated occasionally.
I recommend this book to those who love old English history and a jolly good tale of medieval murder and mayhem.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Accents by the narrarator were unnecessary, and pacing was a touch slow for my taste, but overall well delivered.
The book itself is generally unbiased, if clearly critical of York, Lancaster and Tudor. I was a bit annoyed, as I had hoped the book continues farther a few years to include Bosworth, but I still enjoyed the finish.
It is a bit dull, which is odd considering the incredible events that it covers are so dramatic. I like 'academic' presentations and I think AW does a great job in this, and her other non-fiction titles, at making history live, whilst retaining historical integrity.
But in this book, I wonder if part of the problem is the narration. The reader has a nice voice, when she is just reading. A bit querulous, but soothing. But the accents - European and all sorts of growly, British attempts, were really quite annoying. AW always tells us that, for example, the Italian Ambassador is about to speak; I do not need a theatrical Italian accent to drive this point home. If it was a novel, maybe it would be alright, but it's not.
Anyway, I carried on to the end, despite several times thinking I'd pack it in. I learned a lot, I just didn't enjoy it very much.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
The content is interesting but the narrator is annoying when she does the silly voices all the time. It really breaks the pace
31 of 32 people found this review helpful
As someone who has always had an interest in this period of English history, this book was fantastic. I always found understanding how all the different families fitted into the story difficult and this book helped make that clear. Was also nice to get more insight into people's motivation for choosing sides.
Like others didn't see the need for the narrator to put on the accents but for me it didn't really distract from the story.