Anna Massey tells the story of some of the ambitious families who helped shape the history of the British Isles and have wielded power behind the scenes for the past 1000 years. The Dynasties relates how the loyalties of this privileged elite, many of whom are older than the monarchy itself, were tested and rewarded: it also uncovers a multitude of murderous plots, bloody battles, adulteries, intrigues and shocking executions. In this first volume, three powerful houses are examined. The Godwines counted amongst their number the Earl of Wessex, who helped make Edward the Confessor king, as well as Harold II who fought the Battle of Hastings. The north-dwelling Percys produced Hotspur, who Shakespeare immortalised; whilst the royalist Despensers won land from the Welsh but were destined for a violent end.
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a brief look at British History
- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."
Stellar tales of English history
Yes, I would recommend it. The narration is easy to understand, and the writing style is very brisk yet includes a lot of detail. It's a relatively short book, but you get to know each of the personalities in the powerful families. Makes learning history a lot of fun!
Learning a lot of facts about the kings, especially Harold. I had never heard some of the main points of his life story before. All I knew about were some battles he'd been in. In this audiobook, I picked up a lot more.
Her voice is warm and she handles the dramatic tones very well. She lends the narration as much enticing sonic strength as an actor in a play.
Wanted: man of strong character for job in politics. Must not mind intrigue, skulduggery, large hats.
There is one problem with the audiobook. For some reason, the last two shorter segments repeat the end of the second major section. We hear the entire stories of the Despensers and Percys twice. This is some kind of production mistake, and the BBC should post a re-edit with the corrections, to ease the listener's experience.
- Donna "music nut, history buff"