This Sceptred Isle: Collection 1

  • by Christopher Lee
  • Narrated by Anna Massey, Paul Eddington
  • 15 hrs and 25 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

The first five volumes from the landmark BBC radio series This Sceptred Isle.
Christopher Lee's epic history tells the story of Britain from the Romans to the death of Victoria. This collection includes the original first five volumes:
55BC-1087: Julius Caesar to William the Conqueror From Britannia under the Romans to the Dark Ages and the invasions of Angles, Saxons, Danes, and Norwegians.
1087-1327: The Making of the Nation The Crusades, Welsh and Scottish rebellions and the foundations of the modern state - including Magna Carta and the fledgling English Parliament.
1327-1547: The Black Prince to Henry VIII The Hundred Years' War, the Peasants' Revolt, the Wars of the Roses and the reign of Henry VIII.
1547-1660: Elizabeth I to Cromwell Elizabeth I's long reign; the Civil War, the execution of Charles I and the establishment of Cromwell as Lord Protector.
1660-1702: Restoration and Glorious Revolution The return of Charles II, the Great Plague and Great Fire of London, and a ruler from a different country on the throne: William of Orange.
Narrated by Anna Massey, with extracts from Sir Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples read by Paul Eddington and Peter Jeffrey, this is the definitive radio account of the events and personalities that have shaped our nation.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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

Yes but see below

What other book might you compare This Sceptred Isle: Collection 1 to, and why?

Collection 2

Have you listened to any of Anna Massey and Paul Eddington ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not relevant

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

Only that I think Paul Eddington died or was seriously ill before he could finish the whole thing.

Any additional comments?

1 Why can't I review without answering above daft questions?
2 I downloaded to play on my MP3 and was a bit surprised to find the 1688 Glorious Revolution occurring before the Restoration in 1660. I think someone put the individual episodes together in the wrong order. I'll play Part 2 on random - it might make more sense.
Still the best way of being able to sound as if you know what you are talking about when answering quiz questions

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- Colin Jones

A gentle stroll through British history

This potted history of the British isles is an engaging whistle stop tour that begins with Julius Caesar landing on our shores and comes to rest as Queen Anne ascends the throne. Given the length and breadth of the subject matter and the sheer length of time it is covering, it is more of a superficial browse through the successive reigns of our kings and queens rather than a serious in depth re-telling of history. Nevertheless, it is easy listening and paints a cohesive timeline of events in very broad strokes, sometimes putting events in context and highlighting their impact in the ways that have survived to the present day. If you are an avid fan of any particular period of history, you may feel short-changed in the pencil sketch treatment of your favourite epoch, however, I defy any history buff not to be seduced by the clipped delivery of the narrators and the richness of the stories they tell.

As an additional note, as you reach the restoration of Charles II you may be surprised how the narration seems to speed past him with indecent haste. There is an error in the sequencing of the episodes where the restoration segment has been incorrectly inserted into the William of Orange chapters.
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- Ellie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-04-2017
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Ltd.