- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 53 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 21 Mar. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BY9D9MC
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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A Brief History of the Vikings: Brief Histories Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
After an introductory chapter on Norse myths and belief systems, Clements has adopted a broadly geographical approach to his subject. Thus there are chapters on Viking expeditions west to Greenland and the fabled Vinland, and on their remarkable ventures down the rivers of Russia to Byzantium and Baghdad. In between there are chapters on the succession of raids on the British Isles that led to Danelaw in the eastern half of England, and a running theme of the way factionalism played out in what we today know as Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
If at times the fighting, betrayals and inter-marrying threaten to blur in the mind, that's just the way Viking history is - complicated. Yes, there are a few typographical errors, but nothing to justify the reaction of some reviewers here. Clements writes with commendable style and humour and includes a proper index and bibliography. The handful of photos aren't especially enlightening, but are well reproduced and, best of all, Clements has included dynastic tables for each kingdom that are a considerable help in unscrambling people and dates.
Not introductory, then, so much as a short book containing all the average non-specialist reader will want to know about the Vikings and their impact on our history and imagination.
Clements also explains well the gradual conversion to Christianity and the long period of its coexistence with the older, and widely tolerated paganism. He is dryly amusing on how deeply converted some of the rulers were. In any event the guiding principle of Viking royal family life seemed to be that if one's brothers or father were still alive then one fought them; if they were dead then one avenged them. It was all very clear cut.
However the book is let down by some appalling typographical errors: mis-spellings, repeated phrases and just plain gibberish. The reader can, I think, always work out what is meant, but one shouldn't have to put up with this in the first place.
A Brief History Of The Vikings is cram packed with names, dates and familial relationships. I would say that it is a male book because it concentrates on battles and power rather than giving much on how the various Viking societies lived their day to day lives. However, there is an interesting chapter about religious belief and later chapters touch on the violent forced conversions to Christianity from Paganism.
I was amazed by how far Viking influence spread during the three centuries of their 'heyday'. I already knew about the Danelaw that covered much of northern and eastern Britain for a long period, resulting in many modern-day people of that area tracing Scandinavian ancestry. It was interesting to learn more about this time and how the Viking Danelaw existed alongside the remaining Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Viking traders and settlers were also recorded by the Spanish Moors, the Byzantine empire, as the Russ in Russia, and even building camps in the north Americas centuries before Columbus.
A Brief History this book might be but, at a nine-hour listen and with so much information, I think it is one that could be returned to several times and might even take those several listens to determine exactly who is descended from whom!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OK if you dont want to get bogged down with too much detail. Notes at the back if you wan to know morePublished 3 months ago by mr roger j parkhouse
This is a very brief history of the Vikings and especially so when one considers that the first and second chapters are taken up in an consideration of the Vikings gods. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Brian
It is a good book to read whilst one is traveling around the Fjords on a cruise ship.Published 19 months ago by Mr. RCH VASEY
A fantastic product, exactly what you wish for. Its defiantly worth all the money you buy it for, you couldn't find it cheaper anywhere else!Published 20 months ago by mrs m j selsby
I wanted to like this book, but I found it a bit boring wading through it. On the good side, it is crammed with facts and info - the author is obviously very knowledgeable, but I... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Andrew Davis
Didn't enjoy this book that I was looking forward to reading it didn't give enough insight into the battles for my likingPublished 23 months ago by Neil
enjoyed this imensly ...the historical aspect was well drawn ...would recommend to all history buffs ,dispels a lot of the rubbish writton about the vikings.... Read morePublished on 21 Jan. 2014 by eunice