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Publisher's Summary

From the death of Richard III on Bosworth Field in 1485 to the execution of Charles I, after the Civil Wars of 1642-48, England was transformed by two Dynasties. Firstly the Tudors, who won the crown on the battlefield and changed both the nature of kingship but also the nation itself. England became a Protestant nation and began to establishment itself as a trading power; facing down impossible odds it defeated its enemies on land and sea. Yet after a century Elizabeth I died with no heir and the crown was passed to the Stuarts, who were keen to remould the kingdom in their own image.

Leading Historian, Ronald Hutton brilliantly recreates the political landscape over this early modern period and shows how the modern nation was forged in these anxious, transformative years. Combining skilful pen portraits of the leading figures, culture, economics and accounts of everyday life, he reveals insights in this key era in our nation's story.

This the second 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 story telling, it is the ideal introduction for students and general readers.

©2012 Ronald Hutton (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about A Brief History of Britain 1485-1660

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Acteon
  • 25-10-13

Useful though not exciting

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

Yes, but only if the friend already has a real interest in history

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reading was a bit dull; the voice is too deep for my taste, but that is of course personal.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

To me, the best thing about this book are the references to recent scholarship and research. It is extremely interesting and important to have an idea of how views of particular subjects and periods have evolved.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Reuel
  • 06-10-13

excellent history, balanced perspective

This is a superb history of the momentous era from before Henry VIII to after Elizabeth. The author also presents other historians' views, which changed sometimes dramatically over time based on the latest scholarship and trends. Religion and finance (economy) are two important areas that benefit greatly from balanced perspectives. This clear combination of current and historical scholarship is very interesting and helps the reader understand also how history is analyzed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-01-13

Interesting and engaging

There's not much about on the Tudors and English Civil War - this covers both: Brings us up to date with historical thinking; tells the story of each monarch, and I was left feeling invigorated, engaged, and edified!


3 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah F. Burns
  • 20-11-17

Broad View

I'm not a historian but read and listen to a lot of books on history - mainly European and especially British. For me this book helped as a review and reminder of events which is always useful for retaining the information. The book served as review while feeling really fresh and interesting and went at a good pace. I also enjoyed Hutton's references to the way history is written and understood in different ages.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 19-10-14

Excellent history of England

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This book is well and entertainingly written. However the reader may well feel that the title of the book is a mis-description. The author concentrates totally upon England with Scotland and Wales only referred to insofar as they impinge upon English history. Bannockburn and Sterling Bridge are only passingly mentioned, Wallace is a "terrorist" - Wales is interesting only as a military problem for English kings. Little or nothing about Welsh or Scots society. Ireland, albeit not Britain, although subsequently important for the history of these islands, gets a rare mention to tell us that the Irish were burning witches before it became popular in England. If, however, you forgive the author for his narrow interpretation of the brief the history of the era comes to life and well worth listening to.

Have you listened to any of Roger Davis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Did A Brief History of Britain 1485-1660 inspire you to do anything?

Read more about Henry II

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 17-10-13

A fantastic way to be totally infomred on British

Would you consider the audio edition of A Brief History of Britain 1485-1660 to be better than the print version?

Moves at quite a pace, so you have to be alert to take in the details. brilliant way to absorb the heritage and fantastic happenings of the UK's history. I have scored far better in history quizzes since listening to this book and the others in the series. An essential for anyone who missed out on History at school.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Oh...too many to say, the narration was good though...so he was a good character...does that count!

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Unmissable....how we have got to where we are today

Any additional comments?

Should be part of the school curriculum.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cat
  • 17-04-15

Brilliant

Academic and accessible at the same time!
All the books on this series are highly enjoyable and a very pleasant narrator

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 14-01-14

A bit too brief

I know, brief is right there in the title. However, there's a lot of History of Britain between 1485 and 1660, and this isn't a long book. If you are already familiar with the period this might make a good refresher, but to me it was so fast and dense at times that it felt like a list of names and dates. I don't think much of it will stick.

I should have probably have picked several longer titles covering aspects of the period.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Hayes
  • 13-10-19

Solid Overview

would highly recommend as an introduction to this period. Narration was decent and complemented the content.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Costumer
  • 07-09-21

No pause between chapters

There was no pause between the chapters, making it difficult for the listener to reach down and press pause at the right moment. Irritating.
The book was good.

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  • L. Spencer
  • 28-04-21

A really excellent treatment of this period

I loved every minute of this and learnt so much. I have read a lot about the period (including a 3 volume history of the Civil War) but I learnt a great deal from this treatment. Superb coverage of the role of the Scots and the Irish, a superb summary of the behaviour of Charles I in the run-up to war.

The reading was well-paced and I listened to the whole book over the course of a weekend (while busying myself with spring cleaning). I will listen to it all again.

Inspired by my immense enjoyment of this title I bought the volume that follows it in the same series but I found the reading of that book was simply too fast and the reader had the irritating habit of reading out the birth-death dates of every new character. Not a patch of the excellent reading of this title.

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  • Jeffrey Slater
  • 15-03-21

Patchy, wouldn't really recommend

The Tudor period is not good. There are many "facts" that are at best debatable. Much is just omitted (Thomas Cromwell is mentioned in a single sentence, Walsingham not at all).
The Stuart period is better