Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors by Peter Ackroyd

The narrator, Clive Chafer, has a great voice but a cartoonishly unnatural cadence that annoys the fire out of me.  I was going to knock off one star for that, but… the book as a whole is so well written that I found I couldn’t do it.  From the mists of pre-history and the Roman era to the War of the Roses and the reign of Henry VII, this overview not only puts a great many things into perspective, it also offers little details about life, food, drink, and other little tidbits here and there that make the narrative pop.  Eventually the narrator went from disbelief to annoyance to apathy and finally to acceptance.  At some point during Edward III and the Hundred Years War, the story itself just took over.  I’ve got the next two books in this series, and I’ll get to them in the near future.

4 stars


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