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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 June 2011
To be honest i had no idea what to expect when i downloaded this title, I really don't normally touch this sort of book, But i Like Fiennes, i have read his fiction novels so i know he can write, and the man himself is an enigma.

So why read this? Well a book that shows a view of a single family history going back to the Norman invasion, and how that family intertwines with the history of this great nation and played at times a pivotal role in its evolution, it was too much to pass up. I'm sure there is an element of 6 degree of separation going on at times given the incestuous nature of the aristo's in times of yore, but even that does not account for just how many great people or important events were touched by this family, or how interesting it all is seeing it tied together.

It could put you off doing your own family history, or it could kindle a need to know who you are where you came from, what role did your family have? I very much doubt many will have this outcome, but even the odd shining star is fun and even without, its amazing finding out.

I recommend this to any reader, Ranulph has a very humorous wit that pervades the book and is not averse to poking fun at himself or his family or the royalty of Great Britain, i really enjoyed this read, something very different from what i normally read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2014
I consider him a fine author, his subject matter is never dull, whether we're talking SAS jaunts, secret societies, desert explorations or fitness manuals, you really get the impression that he's done his research and often has firsthand experience. So. The Family is old, has its roots in the Dark Ages when Britain was a different beast altogether, its people always close to the heart of the nation as it grew, and the whole thing is a lovely if somewhat fast ride through British history; it's hard to keep up! In fact, I don't know how he managed to keep his cool while writing it -there's almost too much here, but he handles the characters, and historical framework, with his customary aplomb and dry sense of humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2015
Ihave not read it yet so cannot comment.Sir ran is a very fine author and a remarkable man,If it carries on in the same vein and style of his previous works then i will not be dissapointed.
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on 5 August 2014
A cracking read! Fiennes makes genealogy an interesting subject - but who wouldn't be interested if you had such a weird pack of relatives and a bloodline like his? However, I was surprised to discover that this eBook lacks the family tree diagrams that were my overriding reason for buying it all, and so I ended up also having to buy the book proper just to get the diagrams. While I can accept the fact that the book's photos are not reproduced in the eBook version, had I known it would also lack the printed diagrams, I would have saved my money and bought the softback version alone.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2009
Being a family tree obsessive (I have traced mine back to 1500s) this book is a brilliant read. I would highly recommend it to history lovers as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2009
I read this on holiday and needed to concentrate really hard to keep track of all the characters. I loved Rans easy going style and how he gave you a fix on a certain family member and referred back to him or her. I wish I had not thought of it, but I equated the Fiennes family with "Where's Wally" and imagined them popping up with their red and yellow striped hat throughout history. This is the first time I have read a 1000 years of British history in one hit and found it a good way to view the whole picture. I was horrified how many people died in the medeival battles especially given the population of the time and when viewed against Afghanistan where we get worried about one person dying. I admire the Twisleton-Wyckeham-Fiennes family for mostly keeping their heads below the parapet and for keeping a property in one family for 600 years. But most of all I admire Ran for writing a book of this stature whilst climbing Everest. A book for your Desert Island perhaps.
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on 14 January 2013
This book is a great read, I take years to read any book usually, but might get this finished in six months! Believe me that's good going for me! Very helpful with English history, putting events in order, and as a family historian myself even more interesting, especially as I 'know' some of my ancestors back to 1200s too, and I recognised some names I've come across in my own research. I am a fan of Sir Ranulph even more so now!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2009
A big challenge to wrap up one thousand years of family history with the history of England whilst producing something readable and entertaining for the lay reader. The result is too dry and lacking in personal anecdote to be a success. Often the relevance of the Fiennes family is little more than a footnote.
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on 25 January 2013
If i'm still going as strong as this man when i'm his age i'll be a happy chap, infact if i'm even still alive at his age i'll be a happy man !
Good item and quick delivery, ordered for someones birthday present.

He is on another adventure on one of the poles right now I believe, someone should tell him to try my treacherous daily commute back here in Blighty, almost as difficult I should imagine
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2010
I bought this book for my partner who never usually picks up a book. Thought to myself this will end up in the charity shop! Not so! My partner has been glued to this book since boxing day and regularly updates me on it. Really interesting view of british history as the Fiennes family goes back such a long way. Lots of interesting facts about historical events that you wouldn't find in a standard history book. Highly reoommended!!
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