In Their Own Words

  • by The National Archives
  • Narrated by Daniel Mays, Miriam Margolyes, David Haig, Indira Varma, Arthur Smith, Robert Bathurst
  • 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The way we communicate has changed. Today many of our interactions are digital, but until recently writing letters was the norm. Drawing from over 100 miles of records held at the UK's official government archive, The National Archives at Kew, this collection of letters, postcards and telegrams will shine a spotlight on a range of significant historical moments and occurrences, recapturing a lost world in which correspondence was king.
The audiobook includes letters from Karl Marx, requesting UK citizenship; an anonymous writer purporting to be Jack the Ripper; Josef Kramer, the commandant of Bergen Belsen; Winston Churchill to President Roosevelt, requesting US support against Hitler; Clement Atlee to Harry S Truman following Hiroshima; the spies Burgess and Maclean; as well as the 'real Charlotte Gray' spy, Christine Granville, amongst others.
Topics covered include the Monteagle letter that warned about the Gunpowder plot, letters from the Wright brothers trying to get the War Office to fund their aeronautical research, a dispatch on the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Christine Keeler's Russian-British love triangle that begat the Profumo affair, US disapproval of British trade with Cuba, a letter reporting on the first day of the trial of Nelson Mandela, and the anonymous letter that framed the Krays.
The audiobook features approximately 80 letters, each with a 600-word essay, and a 3,000-word introduction.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A fascinating book charting changes in society and interesting events... Brilliant... When is volume two being released?

I loved this book from start to finish. Its a selection of letters held by the National Archive read by multiple narraters. The book gives a fascinating insight into British society and some of its major events over the centuries. Go read the synopsis and then buy the book. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. I hope that there will be multiple volumes of this book. Lets face it, the National Archive must be such a rich source to plunder.
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- Paul

Not as many juicy stories

There are some cracking insights such as the letter between Churchill and FDR but I just feel some could have been missed out or more letters added
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- Andrew Agoston-Jones

Book Details

  • Release Date: 25-08-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury