This Sceptred Isle

  • by Christopher Lee
  • Narrated by Anna Massey, Robert Powell
  • 3 hrs and 0 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 2, covering the years 1919-1939, looks at a Britain ravaged by war and at the mercy of millions of striking workers. It also takes in the lighter side of life in the 1920s and 30s, including the first loaf of bread going on sale and the glory days of Fred Perry.


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

A Spectuacular Series, Brilliantly Portrayed

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I listened to the entire series:

For me, British History was a jumble of technicolor MGM Movies, scattered on a screen without reason, more nonesense. This whole series sequentially showed dramatic British history in form, near Shakspean. The interplay of the brilliant readers kept a fresh, fascinating pace gripping, ever changing. Never has an Audible narration held me captured in such awe. I also discovered how much of our American foundation is based on the trial and error, blood and drama of centruries of British history, kings and queens comings and goings, a history of good examples, bad examples, examples enough to be used by the US Founding Fothers for the founding our country. Thank you Brisitish History. Every American should listen to this and learn.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrators. I sensed they treasured their history and took what could be just another narration and lifted it up to emotinal heights. I had no royal favorites, the all seemed to be the same, petty and wonderful, power users, using people to die for their royal greedy needs.

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

They were wonderful, brilliant, kept up a pace that sped the narration fresh through the entire series. Their superb talent was one of the quality gifts I admired throughout listening to the entire series, start to finish. They cared from someplace deep down, cared to make their history more than just another narration, but a proud, warts and all, truth about the historic characters they narrated. I felt they deeply enjoyed the sound of the writing too. If there is an Academy Award for Audible narration, it should be given to these performances.

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

Yes. I felt emotional awe, deeper gratitude for what laws British history has given us. I did amuse at the petty humanness of the aritistocrats and how the country stood up to wrongs or just let them slide. I sensed of anger at how religion's power caused such human despair.

Any additional comments?

This is the best of the best, an example of deep brilliance. Thank you Audible, I would be a lesser person without your taking me to these newer mental heights.

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- Charles Of New York "Charles"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2006
  • Publisher: AudioGO Ltd.