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Seven Ages of Britain Hardcover – 7 Jan 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340994088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340994085
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.8 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'In this ambitious account, one of our most eminent broadcasters takes 2,000 years of art - and builds a history of our nation.' (Mail on Sunday)

'A bold attempt to tell the nation's story through objects . . . a beautifully illustrated book' (Scotland on Sunday)

'A great introduction to a fascinating subject.' (Waterstone's Books Quarterly)

'A national treasure looks at national treasures.' (Guardian)

About the Author

David Dimbleby is the author of A Picture of Britain and How We Built Britain, and presented the BBC television series that accompanied them. He chairs BBC's Question Time and anchors election and other political programmes.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books you either love or hate. I love it as it is Dimbleby at his best, and supports the BBC TV series of the same name. Okay he had a lot of help in doing both, BUT this is history presented in a slightly different way, and should encourage all of us to find out more about the history of this land. I hope that the places and treasures mentioned in the book and series get more visitors in the coming years. We have a lot to celebrate in our country, and this books celebrates a lot of them.
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By JC on 31 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Its really a case of WYSIWYG. If you saw the programme this follows the same format and any point that interested you particularly can be reviewed in detail.
Obviously you can fill the gaps if you missed any episode.

The Seven Ages idea seems a little artificial to me but I suppose its a good Shakespearean reference.

An enjoyable read if you're keen on British History.
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By David P TOP 100 REVIEWER on 9 July 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved the series, bought this book for my Mum's birthday, and it is superb, a wonderful companion to the TV programme. I do not understand the reviewer who says there aren't many photos - what on earth were they reading? Have no fear (this review *almost* put me off buying it), this book is absolutely stuffed with them!
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By Neutral VINE VOICE on 12 July 2010
Format: Hardcover
David Dimbley's Seven Ages of Britain is best read in conjunction with the television series. Indeed, there are times when the book reads more like a television script than an historical narrative. History is discovered "through seeing art and handling objects that bring the past to life." This explicitly favours a visual approach which is incapable of being transferred to the written page without losing some of its essence. This is clear at the outset when Dimbleby holds the Alfred Jewel and in the picture of him being hoisted in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Coventry, to get a close up of the Last Judgement.

The Book is presented in seven chapters, each of which is written by different person, all of whom are qualified in their own fields. The first is called the "Age of Conquest". This refers to the invasions of Britain by a variety of peoples including the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Norse. The island accommodated a number of small kingdoms. The growth of Christianity was accompanied by the establishment of monastries and the development of Christian art, although most art from the period has been overshadowed by the Bayeaux Tapestry which signalled the of Anglo Saxon rule.

The second chapter concentrates on medieval life which was dominated by the crown and the church. Although the medieval church was used as a mechanism of social control, it did provide "purpose and structure to daily life (and) helped protect the sick and the poor." It also brought it into political and economic conflict with the crown which led to the murder of Thomas Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket's death had unexpected consequences including his proclamation as a saint and regular pilmgrimages which Chaucer immortalised in his Canterbury Tales.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book to complement the BBC TV series. While it doesn't give very much, if any, additional information it is a book that I will probably read again to refresh my memory of what I had learned from Mr. Dimbleby while watching the series.

I would reccomend this book to anyone with an intrest in British History.

Doug Purdon
Toronto, Canada
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Format: Hardcover
My husband and I adored the tv series, so I bought him the book for a valentine's gift. I know it's a little cliche but I was disappointed about the lack of photos, so much of the information is visual rather than factual. However at nearly £10 cheaper than the High Street it wasn't the end of the world!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book, Seven Ages of Britain is a good companion for the DVD of the TV series and gives greater depth to the episodes. The book has some great photographs and illustrations and the chapters are well written and very readable. If you enjoyed the TV series, you will get added enjoyment from the book
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