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Download Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors, by Peter Ackroyd Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Ackroyd Narrator: Clive Chafer Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The History of England Series Release Date:
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In this massive bestseller in England, one of Britain’s most popular and esteemed historians tells the epic story of the birth of the country.

Peter Ackroyd, whose work has always been underpinned by a profound interest in and understanding of England's history, now tells the epic story of England itself.

In Foundation,the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us from the primeval forests of England’s prehistory to the death of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, in 1509. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country’s most distant past—a Neolithic stirrup found in a grave, a Roman fort, a Saxon tomb, a medieval manor house—and describes in rich prose the successive waves of invaders who made England English, despite being themselves Roman, Viking, Saxon, or Norman French.

With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and his acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, civil strife, and foreign wars. But he also gives us a vivid sense of how England’s early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought vividly to life through the narrative mastery of one of Britain’s finest writers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[In] Foundation, his rambling, affectionate new history of the remote English past…the history that interests him most is the kind touching on national memory and a sense of place, ‘about longing and belonging,’ in his memorable phrase…In a narrative that is relaxed, unpretentious, and accessible, if at times somewhat hasty, he skillfully digests the work of others without cutting very deep with his own analysis. The early chapters, on the times before William the Conqueror, play especially to his strengths, as he draws on the findings of modern archaeologists who have advanced our understanding of how ancient Britons lived and how the various migrations and invasions changed the nation.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This is an extraordinary book…Peter Ackroyd is arguably the most talented and prolific writer working in Britain today.”

    Daily Express (London)

  • “Ackroyd brings delightful but revealing details of the lives of the people from the past into the present.”

    Sunday Express (London)

  • “Ackroyd’s trademark insight and wit, and the glorious interconnectedness of all things, permeate each page.”

    Observer (London)

  • “[Ackroyd] is a natural storyteller and a passionate historian, but his true skill lies in his acute eye for revealing interesting details.”

    San Francisco Book Review

  • “Ackroyd paints a portrait of early England that is both historically rich and compellingly human.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “With Foundation, Ackroyd makes a compelling case to be the country’s next great chronicler.”

    Time Out (London)

  • “The strongest impression Ackroyd acquired from his survey of land and time is that of the role that habit, custom, and contingency plays in shaping history…The battles for the crown supply most of Ackroyd’s narrative, but while the Hundred Years’ War and the Wars of the Roses rumble on, the peasants till the soil, quaff ale, and periodically raise pitchforks and torches. The hugely popular Ackroyd’s ease of erudition ought not to be missed.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This popular history of England from prehistoric times through the reign of Henry VII, the first in a projected six-volume set, isn’t a new story but it’s a good one. The bulk of the book is a narrative about the kings, but the prolific Ackroyd discusses other kinds of history as well: there are chapters on how the English seasons passed, lost villages, crime and punishment, diet and health, etc…Ackroyd’s judgments are unexceptionable.”

    Library Journal

  • “Once again, Ackroyd exhibits his magic touch with the written word…Ackroyd’s genius is in his focus on individual kings and on England alone, without Scotland, Ireland and Wales. He explains some myths, debunks others, and brings England’s kings to life…Delightfully, with each king, Ackroyd summarizes their good and bad attributes along with delightful non sequiturs, such as the first use of the handkerchief. A true history of England tightly focused on the building blocks that made her.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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