Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars35
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: DVDChange
Price:£2.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2007
David Starkey's Monarchy, or Monarchy by David Starkey, has been a fine series, detailing the history of the English Monarchy from the first Anglo-Saxon kings, to the present day.

This is the first of four series, the last of which, as of 6 August 2007, has not been shown. It is composed of six episodes, to the second and third series' five, which cover the Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Plantagenet periods.

1. A Nation State: The Heptarchy, Redwald, Offa, Alfred
2. Ængla Land: Ehtelred, The Vikings, Canute, Edward the Confessor
3. Conquest: The Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror, the Normans
4. Dynasty: Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John, Magna Carta
5. A United Kingdom: Edward I, II and III
6. Death of a Dynasty: Richard II, Henry IV-VI, The Wars of the Roses

David Starkey is a renowned historian, and thanks to Radio 4s 'Moral Maze' a well known public figure. He is primarily, though, and expert in the Tudor period. He has produced several series for Channel 4 on that subject, namely 'Elizabeth', 'Edward and Mary' and 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'. He has personally admitted that pre-Tudor England is not particularly familiar to him and he had to research it much more for this series. This does not affect his competence in presenting this series as it is, naturally, only a passing glance at each period. However, his lack of passion for particular topics is occasionally evident.

None the less this is still an entertaining trek, or should that be sprint, through English history and is a good starting point for a casual viewer, especially as it may lead one to investigate a particular subject further.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 17 March 2009
I'm a big fan of David Starkey, he seems to be able to rivet you to the screen and take through some amazing British history without being patronising.

This third box set of Monarchy follows the history of the restoration of Charles II right up to the early reign of Queen Victoria. Having previously read a lot about the Tudor dynasty, I knew very little about the momentous events following King Charles II, so I was very interested watching Mr Starkey's documentary. I now know a lot more about James II, William and Mary, the good Queen Anne and the Hanoverian dynasty of the four King Georges, William IV and Victoria.

I was fascinated and enthralled all the way through and watched the whole series in one sitting. Very good and I definitely recommend it and also the second series which covers, Richard III through to Lord Protector Cromwell and the restoration of Charles II. Brilliant!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2009
David Starkey's Monarchy is an enjoyable romp through English political and monarchical history. My education left huge gaps in the history of England's Kings and Queens, and Starkey series provides an entertaining and informed guide which helps to fill in those gaps.

As other reviewers point out, Starkey can be quite opinionated and often states theories as if they were fact, but historians commonly do this and a historian who presents facts with no opinions would be dull.

There is an imaginative use of locations to avoid having to stare at Starkey's face for too long, although the occasional use of soft focus and colour filters can be annoying.

Overall highly recommended and a fine example of how TV can really bring history to life and make it entertaining as well as informative.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2011
Having seen, and greatly appreciated Simon Schama's A history of Britain, the comparison between that series and Monarchy is inevitable. Certainly David Starkey is less complex and deep in his approach, but he is more thorough, no Richard or Henry or Edward is left out, with all the key events of their reigns, all the critical moments and gruesome deaths. The language is also less difficult (if slightly monotonous)so teachers of English as a foreign language can use Monarchy even with classes that wouldn't understand professor's Schama rapid speech and learned vocabulary, and also to their own benefit, when a quick revision is needed. I think I will buy the rest of the series.By the way, it would have been useful to know the time span this dvd covers: it goes from the Conquest to the Wars of the Roses
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2011
Continuing David Starkey's series on the English Monarchy, this time from the revival of the Monarchy under Charles II through to the accession of the Hanoverian dynasty and also Queen Victoria's accession to the Throne.

Just as engaging as the previous two series David Starkey provides excellent insight into the people and places that shaped this period in History.
List of Episodes;

1. The Return of the King.
2. The Glorious Revolution
3. Rule Britannia
4. Empire
5. Survival

My only gripe is that the final series of Monarchy hasn't been released on DVD which is really disappointing and makes no sense whatsoever, let's hope Channel 4 revise this in the future (But for the moment it is available to view on 4OD.

Excellent viewing for those with an interest in History and thoroughly engaging for those not familiar with the characters and places of the time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2010
What a refreshing change to have a knowledgeable presenter recount and interpret the facts as supported by documentary evidence rather than rely on ham fisted re-enactments as is the case with too many historical documentaries.

David Starkey is on top of his game and presents a revealing story of the development of the British monarchy.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2011
Dr David Starkeys first series on the British Monarchy from the end of Roman Britain to just before the beginning of The Wars of The Roses.

Starkeys approach and presentation to history is dynamic and fast moving, he enjoys the political intrigues and often complicated personal lives of the protagonist's.

Above all Starkey makes the History come to life and you can sense the passion he has for his subject. Although his speciality subject The Tudors is discussed in series 2, this series isn't to be missed and is a good introduction to early english history.

Episode Guide:

1. A Nation State: Dark Ages how Alfred the Great stood against the Viking invasion, which led to the creation of England.

2. Engla Land: The rise of the Anglo-saxons, the wars against the Vikings and 1066.

3.Conquest: Following the Battle of Hastings and subsequent Norman Conquest.

4. Dynasty: The time of Henry II of England

5. A United Kingdom: The reigns of three Edwards:

6. Death of a Dynasty: Follows the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
Here David Starkey absolutely excels himself-with this brilliant documentary showing us how riveting English history can be. With the aid of maps, old paintings. artefacts and castles, landscapes and acting etc, Starkey brings us through to a deeper understanding of England from the Anglo-Saxon invasion/settlement in the sixth and seventh centuries after the demise in the fifth century of Roman rule until the exciting period of the Wars of the Roses culminating in the defeat Richard III by Henry VII.

He reminds us that the Anglo-Saxon invasion was an even more pivotal turning point in British history than the Norman Invasion several centuries later, as the Saxons imprinted an entire new culture and language in the land they would name England, though since there. Since he illustrates that the Saxons were far fewer in number than the indigenous Celts they conquered, it is obvious to surmise that the Saxons did not substantially displace the Celts but rather formed a ruling elite over them as the Normans would later.
The first king whose reign Starkey deals with is King Offa of Mercia but focuses more on the reign of King Alfred who unified England and defeated the Danish invaders. He reminds us that in nearly every reign from Harold until Elizabeth I there was some sort of civil war or rebellion going on.

He illustrates well King William I's cruel and bloody butchering of the peasants of Northern England from 1068 to 1070 known as the Harrying of the North. the civil war between Empress Matilda and King Stephen are known as the time 'when Christ and his Saints slept' is illustrated quite succinctly and colourfully, as is the reign of bad King John forced to sign the first document of human rights in medieval times known as the Magna Carta and how going back on everything he agreed in this charter led to a rebellion which ended his rule. Similarly with Henry III and the Simon de Monfort rebellion but Henry crushed that one and de Monfort killed. Succeeded by one of England's strongest and most ruthless kings Edward I who hammered Wales into the English crown and persecuted and blodily supressed the Scots, certainly not a respecter of national self-determination.

Unfortunately in one passage he says that unlike today where the lower classes are lawless, in the middle ages it was the nobility that were lawless and belligerent, a rather unfortunate example of British snobbery showing through in that statement. What about university student yobs who took part in the Tottenham riots on 2011 and the various acts of anarchy by middle class radicals we witness in England today?
But I digress , he takes up through the wars and political machinations up to The War of the Roses of which he then provides a really engaging, educational account of a really exciting set of events in English history.
At a time when English history is being downscaled in schools and universities in order not to offend certain groups, the English children and young people are being robbed of a central part of their heritage and identity. It is thanks to great historians like Mr Starkey that we can keep England's great history alive.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2010
A big 'congratulations' to David Starkey for this Monarchy series. I have bought all three of them and his attention to detail as well as his easy-listening style of narration make this a series to be enjoyed over and over.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2009
The whole series of 3 gives the intelligent layman a very good grounding in the core issues facing monarchy in England and then Britain, and David Starkey is a master at putting these issues across in a concise yet not dumbed down way; one error to note: Bonnie Prince Charlie was James Edward's Stuart's son, not his grandson as stated in the final episode of CD 1.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Gardens Through Time [DVD]
Gardens Through Time [DVD] by Diarmuid Gavin (DVD - 2004)


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.