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This Sceptred Isle Collection 2: 1702-1901

The Classic BBC Radio History
Narrated by: Anna Massey, Peter Jeffrey
Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

The final five volumes from the landmark BBC radio series This Sceptred Isle.

Christopher Lee's epic history tells the story of Britain from the Romans to the death of Victoria. This collection includes the original volumes 6-10:

  • '1702-1760: The First British Empire; the reign of George I; Britain's first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole; and the first rendition of 'Rule Britannia'.
  • 1760-1792: The Age of Revolution; the Industrial Revolution begins; America declares independence; France is rocked by social and political upheaval.
  • 1792-1815: Nelson, Wellington and Napoleon war in Europe; the introduction of income tax; England is victorious in the Battle of Trafalgar.
  • 1815-1837: regency and reform; the Prince of Wales becomes George IV; Sir Robert Peel creates the Metropolitan Police; slavery is abolished in the British Empire.
  • 1837-1901: the age of Victoria Victoria's 64-year reign encompasses huge social changes; Britain expands her empire; the Labour Party is founded.

Narrated by Anna Massey, with extracts from Sir Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples read by Peter Jeffrey, this is the definitive radio account of the events and personalities that have shaped our nation.

©2016 Winston Churchill and Christopher Lee (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Limited

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nyrond24
  • 27-11-2016

This sceptred isle

Listened to this on radio four many years ago, its still a great historical listen, and I'm happy to come back to it, only one minor niggle, were part one, audible don't have it, big why

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chris B
  • 23-05-2017

enthralling.

well structured and performed. quite difficult to take it all in but really interesting all the same.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sam H.
  • 01-05-2017

Great history

This was an excellent introduction to the British history of the period, engaging and enlightening. The narration was very clear and I enjoyed the explanations given throughout of the relevance of certain moments. The only things I could fault were that sometimes little parts of the story were repeated later on, though I suppose this was to give context to the coming story, and that I only noticed it because I was listening to it in large chunks while driving long distances. Also the male narrator sometimes has a slight speech impediment and can't pronounce the letters W and R properly, which once I noticed it I couldn't then un-notice! Overall, still a fantastic book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 01-11-2019

Two centuries condensed into 14 hours

I enjoyed part 1 of the series and mainly enjoyed this summary of largely British history covering the 18th and 19th centuries. My major criticism is that repeatedly the text refers to King/Queen of England or the country as England when in both cases it should be Great Britain or United Kingdom. I assume that professional historians were involved so it unforgivably careless to use these terms when the crowns were combined in 1603 and the parliaments in 1707. The narrators are excellent.

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  • Sally Margetts
  • 14-11-2018

Well read

The readers give great depth to the characters within the narrative. A nice introduction to the UK history of this period for those looking for an overview of the key events

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • amazoncustomer
  • 30-07-2019

It would be better with less posh narration.

I am still working my way through this. It is excellent material but there's one thing that is seriously bugging me! It is actually putting me off getting to the end. It's Anna Massey's posher than posh accent! She makes the queen sound like Jamie Oliver! It might have been okay in the 1940s but in the 2000s, it grates on the ears to hear all those explosive consonants, rrrrrrrolled R's and hearing 'amelican' instead of 'american'.


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  • Je suis Charlie
  • 21-03-2019

Great book, but don't read this version.

Great book, but don't read this version unless you want to help fund the government propaganda machine that is the BBC.

1 person found this helpful