Retail pak Audio Partners 1999
CS ISBN 1572701013 $34.95 Eight cassettes
Eight historians (including Neville Williams for the Tudors and Andrew Roberts for the Windsors) tell the story of the royal houses of England from 1066 to the present. Fraser's somewhat apologetic introduction acknowledges the limits of monarchical history, but this fascinating and mesmerizing chronology has too many colorful characters and startling reversals to ever feel limited. At last, one learns why Henry IV was Henry Bolingbroke and his son Henry V was Henry Monmouth (after the castles where they were born), who exactly Lady Jane Grey was, and why a line of German princes ended up on the English throne. McCaddon's initially harsh, schoolmarmish tone turns out to wear well, bringing vigor and continuity to what easily might have been a numbing chronology of names and centuries. In her commanding voice this unsurpassable listening experience stirs both mind and imagination. D.A.W. © AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: DEC/JAN 00]
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