• This Sceptred Isle, Volume 1

  • 55 BC-1087 Julius Caesar to William the Conqueror
  • By: Christopher Lee
  • Narrated by: Anna Massey
  • Length: 3 hrs and 2 mins
  • Original Recording Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-23-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (88 ratings)

Regular price: $14.46

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Publisher's Summary

This is the award-winning story of Britain, from the arrival of Julius Caesar in 55 BC to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Christopher Lee's history of Britain provides the definitive radio account of the events and personalities that have shaped the British nation. From foreign invasions and war to economic crises and social revolution, this is a compelling journey through centuries of dramatic change.
Volume 1, covering the years 55 BC to 1087, tells the beginning of the story: 400 years of peace for the island of Britannia under the Romans before a plunge into the Dark Ages and the invasions of those who would become the English: Angles, Saxons, Danes, and Norwegians.
(P)1996, 1998, 1999 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By lanny kaufman on 09-08-11

Making history enjoyable

Where does This Sceptred Isle, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

This book is very user friendly It tells us the early history of Britain and is very enjoyable to listen to. I am ranking it very highly among the audible history books.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the fact that it stressed two unknown facts for me. One was that the Britons were fighting the Angles and Saxons which helped Norman the Conquerer in his invasion. The second eye opener was that Norman was really an offshoot of the Scandivanians, not the French. Also, the book was addressed to the reader in the 21st century.

Have you listened to any of Anna Massey???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Anna Massey is great. I listened to Rebecca and she is outstanding here as she was there. She is a born narrator as well as a great actress whom I have seen on the Masterpice Classic Palliser series.

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

I wouldn't say I laughed or cried, though some of the characters were amusing. I plan to listen to the other books in the series. I felt very informed about not only early English history, but also about what we call the early Middle Ages.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 11-13-10

Mind Numbing

Unless you're listening to this book with a huge poster and pen, rapidly copying down the names and relationships of the parade of rulers over Britain, you'll be totally lost after five minutes. It reads like the first few chapters of genesis...

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5 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kitty on 06-02-14

I love these books

Would you listen to This Sceptred Isle, Volume 1 again? Why?

I love the sceptered isle series for giving a clear understanding of people, events and the environment of the time. A great foundation before looking into some of the topics in more detail or providing background information on areas you already know in detail. For example this book and volume 2 lends context on the history up to the wars of the roses.

What did you like best about this story?

This series covers the events in sufficient detail to give you a good grasp of British history. It doesn't get bogged down in areas for which there is a lot of information which in other books gives a lopsided understanding of the period.

What about Anna Massey’s performance did you like?

Anna Massey is probably the best narrator I've heard. She gives a clear and engaging performance with enough emotion to bring the subject to life without being annoying and distracting. Excellent.

Having a male voice to convey specific areas of information also works very well. The combination of male and female narrators help keeps the subject matter easy to understand.

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

I did listen to it in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

I didn't give this book 5 stars for the overall category is because the Sceptered Isle series aren't good value for money.

At around £8 - £14 for books only 2-5 hours long they give some of the least content at the highest price. There are other titles available in history which are also excellent and offer far better value.

However these are the only books which cover certain periods of British History. The quality is good enough that I've still bought many of the titles but feel very unhappy at the price.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mr. R. J. Holliday on 02-04-15

Bit sized history

Loved the radio series, great to catch the whole series.
Great for car journeys and plane flights or bed time

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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