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Extended Audio Sample The Conquering Family, by Thomas B. Costain Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (405 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas B. Costain Narrator: David Case, Frederick Davidson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Plantagenets / Pageant of England Series Release Date:
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Thomas B. Costain's four-volume history of the Plantagenets begins with THE CONQUERING FAMILY and the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066, closing with the reign of John in 1216.The troubled period after the Norman Conquest, when the foundations of government were hammered out between monarch and people, comes to life through Costain's storytelling skill and historical imagination.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by DoctorM | 2/19/2014

    " I first read Costain's four-volume history of the Plantagenet family back when I was twelve or thirteen--- long, long ago. The books have long ago dropped out of sight--- popular history published first more than half a century ago. And that's a pity. I can't say that they're academic history, or that Costain's interpretations of England from the 1140s to 1485 have held up. But these are the books that introduced me to Anglo-Norman England and to a host of figures (Henry and Eleanor, the over-maligned John, Edward I, the over-praised Henry V, the tragic Richard III) I went on to read about in other, more academic works. I think the Costain books still work as an introduction, and I very much think they're good reads. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rosemary Prawdzik | 2/18/2014

    " Previous to this book, I've read The Three Edwards and the Last of the Plantagenets. In those books I found this author's style dry and focused on quoting source materials, with a confusing out of chronological order narrative. Not so with this book - it reads almost like a novel. So, readers, don't be afraid to tackle this one. However, I'm not sure why the author states that Henry's first illegitimate son, Geoffrey, and his last illegitimate son, William Longespee, were born by Henry's mistress, Rosamund. Neither of them were from Rosamund. The other inaccuracy is the reference to Henry and Eleanor's first son, William, being born just shy of being illegitimate - only 5 months after they were married. From the research I've done, I believe William was born more like a year and a half after they were married. So, if you can look past these inaccuracies, the rest of the book is worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tomi | 2/15/2014

    " I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading Thomas Costain! This book reads more like a novel than a work of history. I enjoyed the details about peoples' lives, their clothing, the meals they ate. Richard the Lion-Heart was a jerk and John I was a bully! They, however, were just like every other ruler of the time; Costain provides an excellent picture of the Plantagenet era, not just in England but France, Rome, and the Holy Land as well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Jody | 2/13/2014

    " I usually like histories, but this one didn't catch me even though I have read extensively about this period and the civil war that insues because of the acidental death of the heir of the king. Couldn't make myself finish it, although that might have just been my mood - wanting something much lighter where I didn't have to think about 100 different people, most of who had the same names or similar names. Just wasn't up for a big family fight where too many innocent by-standers get killed. "

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