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Crown and Country

A History of England through the Monarchy
Written by: David Starkey
Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: History, Europe
2.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of our finest historians comes an outstanding exploration of the British monarchy from the retreat of the Romans up until the modern day.

The monarchy is one of Britain’s longest surviving institutions – as well as one of its most tumultuous and revered. In this masterful book, David Starkey looks at the monarchy as a whole, charting its history from Roman times, to the Wars of the Roses, the chaos of the Civil War, the fall of Charles I and Cromwell's emergence as Lord Protector – all the way up until the Victorian era when Britain’s monarchs came face-to-face with modernity.

This brilliant collection of biographies of Britain’s kings and queens provides an in-depth examination of what the British monarchy has meant, what it means now and what it will continue to mean. Bringing to life a cast of colourful characters, Starkey’s trademark energy and authority make him the perfect guide on this epic, accessible and compelling journey, as he offers us a vivid portrait of British culture, politics and nationhood through an institution that has defined the realm for nearly two thousand years.

©2010 David Starkey (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the critics say

"Excellent…the really crucial events in the history of the British Monarchy…are assessed with authority, wisdom and wit…This is Starkey at his fluent and entertaining best." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"This book…is vivid, lucid and engaging…his judgements delivered with quasi-Pontifical assurance are often acute…a very enjoyable book." ( Daily Telegraph)
"David Starkey tours England's monarchical horizon with gusto." ( Sunday Times)
"Starkey brings the past to vivid life." ( Daily Express)
"Combines compelling narrative and lucid analysis to guide us with a sure hand…Starkey’s book will undoubtedly make him and his publishers a tidy profit." ( Spectator)

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False advertising at its finest

The audiobook does not follow the book (which I have) so firstly it's not unabridged. Secondly, it often skips over several lines, if not paragraphs of information and sometimes pages (worst was when it skipped over 5 complete pages of information). The narration itself isn't bad but the way the audiobook is structured was awful. The chapters necessarily aren't even chapters (let alone accurately divided) and often end off in the middle of a paragraph abruptly with the next "chapter" continuing on from where it left off. The actual book itself is amazing but it's a shame to see such a work horribly structured and pathetically abridged.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • daniel
  • 2011-07-27

Needs Chapters - to good to stop!

I find most audiobooks (good and bad) to be great soporifics. This, however, is the opposite - and therefore needs chapters as a place to stop and come back to. The story is wonderfully relentless and extremely well read. Looking forward to the day when I have a good five hours free when I can just devote it to listening to this book (maybe it's time to really clean the apartment).