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  • A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485

  • Brief Histories
  • By: Nicholas Vincent
  • Narrated by: Roger Davis
  • Length: 18 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (418 ratings)
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A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485

By: Nicholas Vincent
Narrated by: Roger Davis
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Summary

From the Norman Conquest to the Battle of Bosworth Field - how Britain was invaded and became a nation. The first volume in the stunning four-volume Brief History of Britain series. From the Battle of Hastings to the Battle of Bosworth Field, Nicholas Vincent tells the story of how Britain was born. When William, Duke of Normandy, killed King Harold and seized the throne of England, England’s language, culture, politics, and law were transformed.

Over the next 400 years, under royal dynasties that looked principally to France for inspiration and ideas, an English identity was born, based in part upon struggle for control over the other parts of the British Isles (Scotland, Wales, and Ireland), in part upon rivalry with the kings of France. From these struggles emerged English law and an English Parliament, the English language, English humour, and England’s first overseas empires. In this thrilling and accessible account, Nicholas Vincent not only tells the story of the rise and fall of dynasties, but investigates the lives and obsessions of a host of lesser men and women, from archbishops to peasants, and from soldiers to scholars, upon whose enterprise the social and intellectual foundations of Englishness now rest.

This the first book in the four-volume Brief History of Britain which brings together some of the leading historians to tell our nation’s story from the Norman Conquest of 1066 to the present day. Combining the latest research with accessible and entertaining storytelling, it is the ideal introduction for students and general readers.

Nicholas Vincent has published half a dozen books and some fifty academic articles on various aspects of English and European history in the 12th and 13th centuries. He has studied at Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, and Canterbury and now is professor at the University of East Anglia.

©2012 Nicholas Vincent (P)2012 Audible Ltd
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brief, but somehow very thorough

This book contains a summary of the history of 400 tumultuous years, in which many of the paths leading to the current state of Britain are established. Although brief by title, it is nonetheless thorough, conatianing a wealth of detail of life in Norman and then medieval times. The reading is occasionally rushed, with words piling into each other, but by and large this isn’t too detrimental. Recommended for anyone who’s forgotten ‘1066 & all that’ as taught in school.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Much too long!

What did you like best about A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485? What did you like least?

Much too long and would benefit from a cut to about 1/3 of the current length! After wading through a thicket of detail on various family connections (even when hardly relevant), frequent subclauses starting with 'or...' to hedge a previous statement, and the obligatory politically correct musings, one has often advanced but 20 years in around one hour's worth of listening. This makes it difficult to get an 'overview' of a period - which is surely what a 'brief' history is for?

One still misses a good, short, and to-the-point overview of British history. Somehow British historians seem incapable of achieving this, preferring instead to get bogged down in every little idiosyncratic detail?

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Everything you didn't know

Excellent book filling you in on whys, where, what's and who's of britian ! Had lots of ahhh & ohhhhhh moments - interesting listen

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

I really enjoyed this book a must for those wanting to learn about English history.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Medieval History made easy

If you could sum up A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485 in three words, what would they be?

fascinating, informative, lengthy

What other book might you compare A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485 to, and why?

I've not read another book like it, but because I was listening, usually while driving, I took in a vast amount of interesting material that would have been more difficult on the page.

What does Roger Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Davis definitely brings it to life, he made me think of historic characters as real people operating within the politics of their time.

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

Not an emotional response as such, but a large number of "aha, that's why" moments.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hardly a history of Britain

Whilst containing some brilliant detail of the administrative, economic and social frameworks of England, the book is written, as so many from an Anglo centric viewpoint. Wales and Scotland are footnotes, with references often dismissive further exacerbated by poor pronunciation of welsh by the otherwise engaging narrator. The book, as illustrated by the final pages would be better retitled as a brief history of England.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent, loved it,

The story and performance is excellent. Well worth and enjoyable. I would recommend this book.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

A really good account of a very interesting and eventful period of history. Once finished, I started again from the beginning!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

Great overview of medieval England. Read well and made interesting by insights into the national view.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An essential history lesson

Really enjoyed this book, it is very well read and written in a style that a layman can understand. As someone born of mixed heritage but born in England I felt compelled to learn the history of the nation I was born to... Highly recommended

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3 people found this helpful