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

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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- Kitty

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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- Mr. R. J. Holliday

Book Details

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