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Extended Audio Sample Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution, 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: Release Date:
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Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of the greatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of the history of England, beginning the progress south of the Scottish king James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ending with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson James II.

The Stuart monarchy brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war and the killing of a king. Shrewd and opinionated, James I was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft, and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country during the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant, warts-and-all portrayal of Charles’s nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, Parliament’s great military leader and England’s only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as “that man of blood,” the king he executed.

England’s turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare’s late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton, and Thomas Hobbes’s great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Rebellion also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[The] splendid third volume of Ackroyd’s projected six-volume history of England…Ackroyd keeps things moving briskly along by alternating between weighty matters of state and vignettes of everyday life. An accomplished novelist, he has an eye for the revelatory digression.

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An exhilarating experience. Readers will come away from this book with an appreciation of how and why the cataclysmic events of seventeenth-century England shaped world history for the next two centuries.”

    NPR.org

  • “Ackroyd is a wonderful storyteller, and he has a wonderful and vitally important story to tell…Masterful…The ideas that launched our own revolution were forged during this seminal period of English history.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Rebellion does more than lay out the facts of history. Spliced between the chapters that move the chronological history forward are vignettes on daily life in seventeenth-century England…This is a fascinating look at life in England during tumultuous times.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “What makes the author so special is that he relates history as it once was told by the bards. Ackroyd tells us not just the history but the story behind it and the story as it might have been viewed at the time…[An] appropriately detailed, beautifully written story of the Stuarts’ rise and fall—will leave readers clamoring for the further adventures awaiting England in the eighteenth century.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Agitation was in the air throughout seventeenth-century England, and Ackroyd skillfully captures the feelings and events of the time in this third volume of his history of England…Addressing politics, religion, court life, scandal, science, literature, and art, the depth and scope of Ackroyd’s account is impressive, and it is as accessible as it is rich.”

    Publishers Weekly

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