This Sceptred Isle, Volume 1

  • by Christopher Lee
  • Narrated by Anna Massey
  • 3 hrs and 2 mins
  • Original recording Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- lanny kaufman

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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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-23-2007
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited