Saxons, Vikings, and Celts

  • by Bryan Sykes
  • Narrated by Dick Hill
  • 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

WASPs finally get their due in this stimulating history by one of the world's leading geneticists. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts is the most illuminating book yet to be written about the genetic history of Britain and Ireland.
Through a systematic, 10-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, Bryan Sykes has traced the true genetic makeup of British Islanders and their descendants. This historical travelogue and genetic tour of the fabled isles, which includes accounts of the Roman invasions and Norman conquests, takes listeners from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales, where a 300,000-year-old tooth was discovered, to the resting place of "The Red Lady" of Paviland, whose anatomically modern body was dyed with ochre by her grieving relatives nearly 29,000 years ago.
A perfect work for anyone interested in the genealogy of England, Scotland, or Ireland, Saxons, Vikings, and Celts features a chapter specifically addressing the genetic makeup of those people in the United States who have descended from the British Isles.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Thesaurus taxing mind numbing travelog

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I'm not a fan of this narratiator to start with but in this particular recording his lilting emphasis on words/phrases becomes so faint at (many) times that words are entirely lost, especially if listening in a car, and this means many 'rewinds' to catch what was said.

What could Bryan Sykes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have talked about the genetics of Saxons, Vikings and Celts. Or better yet leave book as is and chang the title to something more like: Musings on the mystic beauty of the Isles, possible historic events and some suggestive supportive genetic data.

How could the performance have been better?

Technically the recording was fine - no dropped mics, etc.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Saxons, Vikings, and Celts?

Either most of it - we only get about eight sentences in the whole book that mention genetics specifically by region anyway - or better yet just change the title to reflect the true content of the book.

Any additional comments?

Out of about 300 books I have bought over the years from audible this is only the third that I would like my money back on (Disappearing Spoon & Michael Palins Around the World are the others). 'Spose one out of a hundred isnt so bad though.

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- Twang "Yet Reader"

Great content, maddening narration

Interesting content for anyone with ancestry in the Ireland and British isles. Good science paired with a historical perspective. The narrator is American, why? His style is suited more to a children's book with his overly dramatic emphasis, especially at the start- almost makes you want to stop listening. The style does not match the content. If you can bear the narration and the clunky, casual writing style, it's an interesting story of the spread of humans to the isles and beyond to the new world.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-07-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio