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on 30 June 2016
fantastic series, if you like tudor history this series is a must watch
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on 30 April 2017
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2009
The history of the Tudor monarchs has to be my favourite period of English history and I managed to miss this David Starkey series when it was first shown on Channel 4 in the UK. I couldn't wait to buy it on DVD.

Well, I wasn't disappointed, it was extremely detailed and Mr Starkey is very well educated on the subject. I watched the whole series in one sitting and to be quite honest its fuelled my desire to read even more about the Tudor dynasty.

The series begins with the Wars of the Roses and the death of Richard III and the beginning of the House of Tudor with King Henry VII then follows the legendary King Henry VIII and his six wives, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I, Elizabeth I. (House of Stuart) James I, Charles I, The English Civil War and Oliver Cromwell and then the Restoration and Charles II.

A fantastic period of English history that Mr Starkey brings to life on screen. Definitely recommended. I only wish we would have had access to documentarys like this when I was at school!
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on 29 May 2007
The DVD quality is excellent, providing a very clean clear image just looking at the pictures made me want to go and see those rooms for myself.

Starkey teaches history making it far more interesting than I thought possible from all those horrible school day lessons.
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on 30 December 2012
As we continue the intriguing ride into English history this Series 2 takes us from Henry VIII to Oliver Cromwell and ends with the
Restoration and accession of Charles II.
A window into history that is both educational and exciting, Starkey focuses mainly on Henry VIII's break with Rome and creation of the Anglican Church, his reasons for doing this having first to do with the Pope's refusal to grant him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon and later he discovered it suited his own political purposes and drive for absolute power over England.
He takes us through portraits of most of Henry's top advisor at the time, the men who shaped policy and events, under Henry, such as Thomas More, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer.
No one is as good as Starkey at bringing English history to the viewer, and Starkey aptly describes Anne Boleyn as 'sexy rather than beautiful', which is certainly the case from her portraits and the descriptions of her.
He describes the religious conflicts which shaped the period under discussion, and the efforts of Elizabeth I to shape a middle ground between the Roman Catholics and extreme Protestants, after the volatile times of Edward VI and Mary I, the execution of Jane Grey and Mary's religious persecutions of Protestants and mass burnings.

He explains the differences between the cunning James I, and the gunpowder plot, and his arrogant son, Charles I who believed in the divine right of kings, absolutely. leading to his forcing of the closure of parliament , and the civil war. which is covered with the aid of maps, landscape footage and re-creations of battle scenes.

The section on Oliver Cromwell leaves us in no doubt that Cromwell as Lord Protector was dictator as absolute in the exercise of his power as any king, and his suppression of Scotland (but oddly leaves out Cromwell's genocide in Ireland). Starkey illustrates how even Cromwell's funeral and burial were royal in scope and grandeur.
The English had executed a king only to discover they could not live without one, and the rule of Cromwell's weak son, Richard as lord protector was short lived.
Through the efforts of General Moncke and the reinstated parliament, the monarchy was restored among much fanfare. As end Series 2
Starkey is a genius in his knowledge of his work, as well as able to present it in a way that is enthralling to the viewer. Lots of shots of churches, palaces, manors and the British countryside provide a feeling for the period covered.
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on 18 November 2006
David Starkey's views may not appeal to everyone, but he is certainly entertaining. ALL historians have a bias of some sort - Antonia Fraser comes to mind - and Simon Schama is another. Both Starkey and Schama are both entertaining in their own way, but I particularly enjoy Starkey's view of Tudor history. In the present series of Monarchy, a certain antipathy towards France comes through, although culturally England and France were poles apart in the 17th century despite Charles II's familial link to Louis XIV. Benevolent despotism has never been tolerated in England, although dictatorship is quite another thing !

Starkey is highly watchable and his programmes, above all, entertain. I hope further programmes are as entertaining as the current one.
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VINE VOICEon 15 March 2007
This second season of Monarchy by the historian David Starkey continues to detail the history of the kings and queens of England with the majority of this season detailing the Tudor dynasty but also dealing with those monarchs who came immediately before and after them. The series is very well put together and David Starkey is a great presenter, both interesting and informative. If the series has a flaw, it is that it tries to cover so much that it inevitably leaves the odd thing out here and there but when this does happen it is usually only things that most people would know already so does not distract from an otherwise brilliant program.
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on 9 June 2009
Just want everyone to know that this dvd has english subtitles. I do not understand why Amazon doesn't inform this.
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on 8 January 2015
Excellent narration from David Starkey. Thoroughly interesting, pieces of history explained in an easy to follow series that lists various events throughout the British Royal History in chronological order including Elizabeth I and revelations such as James VI of Scotland/James I of England, preferring the company of broad, Scots lads with well-turned buttocks in his private bed chambers and the revelation that some people were referred to as 'cocks' and that it meant the same then as it does now.

I find there is a little overuse of Cambridge University educated speech rather than plain English and a fair amount of use of larger words where smaller ones would do and David Starkey has somewhat of a South Western sounding rather posh accent and his pronunciation of words such as 'yur' for year (yee-er) and 'doo-er' instead of dour (dow-er) meant that I preferred watching with subtitles as I didn't always get the meaning within a given sentence without them. I found it helpful to have my laptop open so that I could pause the DVD and type things like oligarchy definition into Google so that I could get my non-University speech and understanding back into plain English to understand a few sentences but overall there aren't many words in each episode that needed an explanation, perhaps four or five at most. Examples of words that I don't think everyone would understand are things like vacillation where wavering would suffice, privy chamber without explaining that it's a private royal apartment within a Royal residence in England and supranational without the definition although I quickly worked this out but other than these small niggles, the series is excellent. It explains in a fair amount of detail many of the events that transpired throughout British Royal history and is extremely informative in a very pleasant narration style. It is a little stuffy in places and I can imagine that this would appeal far more to older high school students from Middle Class families as well as the general population but that many Working Class may find it a little stuffy. If you haven't been University educated, I would suggest having a dictionary or Google open and ready as I found that there were perhaps four or five words in every episode that I had to look up the meaning or had to pause for a second or two while things like inherently 'in-herrantly' were pronounced as in-hear-ent-ly or words such as politico-theological were used without a definition and sacramont was pronounced with me wondering whether it was the Hindi sacramont meaning or sacrament Royal meaning. A dictionary or Google to hand and subtitles eliminate the possibility of wondering whether David Starkey has mispronounced a word or whether I just didn't understand it. The series is very good, although I'm sure history buffs will say that there isn't as much information as they would have liked but I think it is just right as this is an excellent and very interesting series and provided me with an almost endless story after story of Royal history that I knew nothing about.
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on 7 May 2013
I have a really love for David Starkey, I enjoy all of his history programs and his books. I love this series the most out of all of the monarchy ones. I got it as a present to myself and it arrived on time, and in good condition.
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