Listen free for 30 days

  • The Brothers York

  • An English Tragedy
  • By: Thomas Penn
  • Narrated by: Roy McMillan
  • Length: 23 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (142 ratings)

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £31.99

Buy Now for £31.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Brothers York by Thomas Penn. 

In early 1461, a teenage boy won a battle on a freezing morning in the Welsh marches and claimed the crown of England. He was Edward IV, first king of the usurping house of York. The country, crippled by economic crisis, insurgency and a corrupt and bankrupt government, was in need of a new hero. 

Charismatic, able and ruthlessly ambitious, Edward and his two younger brothers, George, Duke of Clarence, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, became the figureheads of a spectacular ruling dynasty which laid the foundations for a renewal of English royal power. Yet a web of grudges and resentments grew between them, generating a destructive sequence of conspiracy, rebellion, deposition, usurpation and murder. The brutal end came on 22 August 1485 at Bosworth Field, with the death of the youngest brother, then Richard III, at the hands of a new usurper, Henry Tudor. 

The Brothers York is the story of three remarkable brothers, two of whom were crowned kings of England and the other an heir presumptive, whose fatal antagonism was fuelled by the mistrust and vendettas of the age that brought their family to power. The house of York should have been the dynasty that the Tudors became. Its tragedy was that it devoured itself. 

©2019 Thomas Penn (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Brothers York

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    121
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    108
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Tudor propaganda again

I did enjoy this book overall but became increasingly disappointed once it reached Richard III's reign. Perhaps not surprising from the author of "The Winter King" who seemed more interested in Henry Tudor than Richard. All the usual Tudor propaganda was brought out. Wasn't the often quoted Thomas More about 5 years old at the time? And Shakespeare's famous portrayal of Richard was always going to discredit Richard and appease his Tudor queen. Also Ferdinando Stanley, Shakespeare’s patron, was the direct descendant of Thomas Stanley, the latter being the step father of Henry Tudor.
Well read by Roy McMillan and should appeal to anyone interested in English history.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fifteenth Century dynastic unravelling!

A good old narrative history, well researched, well written and well read. Penn has revealed the characters of the Plantagenet brothers in all their ambition, hubris, magnificence and absolute ruthlessness extremely well. Most students of the period will be familiar with the main events of the era, but the author draws our attention in meticulous detail to the influence of the Medici banking organisation in financing European Monarchs as well as walking us through Edward’s tortuous path to a Burgundian alliance, culminating in the epic scrap between Anthony Woodville and The Bastard of Burgundy. What would you give to have had a front row seat at that “friendly” encounter?

I would recommend this Audible book to anyone interested in this era of history.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

an excellent and insightful book

this book was an easy listen. I found myself understanding the major characters much more than I had from previous non fiction books covering the period. Thinking about it, perhaps that is because the book allows events to unfold for the players as they might have seen them, and not just for the most senior or important people. After all, they did not live in a vacuum, and in drawing their world, and allowing them to move around in it, their motivation as well as their actions are much easier to understand. I had only ever seen Richard III in quite simplistic terms as a loyal brother and uncle who suddenly turned into a tyrannical usurper, and not because of the Shakespearean portrayal of him. Clarence had never appeared to me as a fully rounded character, and nor had Edward if I'm honest. I really enjoyed the book and I learned a lot. It stayed with me afterwards and I ordered The Winter King afterwards.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect.

Really engaging writing with a fantastic & entertaining sense of style, brilliantly performed by a reader who makes every sentence pop and just brings everything to life. Both author and reader have deffinitely sprung into my favourites.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best history books I've come across

A big brilliant listen. Lots of researched detail but never dry. Vividly written and wonderfully read. This s an era I've re quite a lot about but still felt I learned new things about the characters and events of these turbulent times. The major players seemed very well drawn, neither overly demonised nor totally unsympathetic, so it felt as if Thomas Penn was trying to give an objective account , rather than either character assassination or a eulogy. He doesn't make categorical judgement about the princes, though you could guess at his opinions. When he does discuss motivations they seem suggestive rather than dogmatic. One or 2 small details left out like Clarence's daughter supposedly always wore a wine casket trinket which indicates the validity of her fathers death by malmsey and I would have liked more about Cecile Nevilles responses to her sons' sexual smear campaigns and relations with them , but maybe these things are unknown. Some readers have seemed to find him very anti Richard, which I didn't find although I'm not a paid up Ricardian. Highly recommend!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tudor Times

Loved this book. The story was well written and the narration is first class. Will listen to it again and would recommend it. I will be looking for more from this author and the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

Held my interest all the way through and despite some issues with pronunciation of French towns, (to be fair, had I not already known the names it would not have mattered) it is a great story that gives enough detail to paint a detailed picture of the events and relationships without being so detailed it just becomes pixels.

Definitely worth a listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tells a complex tale.

Very comprehensive telling of a pivotal point in the history of England and the interactions of those involved.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

not entirely factual

not entirely factual but interesting all the same

for example that author forgot all about Henry 8th brother

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great narration

Excellent the guy did a great job bringing the period to life, very difficult with historical fiction