Our Island Story , by H. E. Marshall, is an Edwardian history book for younger listeners (aged six to 12) that tells the story of England, concluding with the reign of Queen Victoria. Antonia Fraser and many other current historians declare that it was this book that opened the delights of history for them. It fell from fashion in the 1960s, but its recent re-release in hardback has seen it become a publishing surprise in the UK, with sales of some 75,000 copies in a few months.
Now, Naxos AudioBooks releases it unabridged in three volumes, divided into three clear periods of history. Though slightly edited to take account of historical changes and attitudes, it is presented unabridged.
Not only will young listeners hear the fascinating story of Britain, they will also experience Marshall's Edwardian-style, since this history was written in 1905. Myth and reality are combined, substantially adding to the history commonly found in school books. Narrators Anna Bentinck and Daniel Philpott are spot-on as they continually switch accents and move from text to quotation in this fast-paced history. Bentinck presents the comprehensive introduction, and then she and Philpott take up the story, never failing to keep listeners' attention. Listening to this unique presentation is a rewarding experience.
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