This Sceptred Isle

  • by Christopher Lee
  • Narrated by Anna Massey, Robert Powell
  • 3 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This audiobook continues the award-winning BBC Radio 4 series of the story of Britain, from the start of the 20th century to the present day. Christopher Lee's history of Britain, This Sceptred Isle, provided the definitive radio account of the nation form the arrival of Julius Caesar to the death of Queen Victoria.This Sceptred Isle: The Twentieth Century continues the story, taking us through decades of whirlwind change and technological advancement in a diverse and colourful country on the brink of a new millennium. Volume 5, covering the years 1979-1999, looks at the Thatcher years, the Falklands War, and the greatest ever Royal wedding. Beyond Britain, Mikhail Gorbachev was influencing world affairs and, back in the nation's capital, a dome was being built to celebrate the approaching millennium.

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What the Critics Say

"Wonderful....This Sceptred Isle has provided one of the greatest treats for listeners in recent years." (Sunday Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I hope the rest of the series is this great

I am patching up my knowledge of some history I lived through, but pretty blithely at the time. This knit the whole story of those 20 years together terrifically, connectilng dots between what I heard back then as mere fragments. Next stop: the late 1700s. I hope it is handled as deftly. The length is just right too, to give a brisk history refresher but not to bog down, as a few lengthy British histories I've read have done.
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- Phil O.

Easy to Listen to History

What made the experience of listening to This Sceptred Isle the most enjoyable?

It was enjoyably narrated. There were frequent primary accounts included and a variety of voices. Additionally, the content was not too difficult to understand and the pacing was appropriate.


What was one of the most memorable moments of This Sceptred Isle?

It's meant as a children's book, so it's a very brief overview of the history of the UK between 1979-1999. However, if you are unfamiliar with British history, it does an acceptable job of introducing you to the key points.


What about Anna Massey and Robert Powell ’s performance did you like?

The occasional dry commentary on historical events. She also does an excellent job moderating her voice and pacing the concepts.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I listened to it in one afternoon. It was very worthwhile.


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- Ruth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2006
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited