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on 16 August 2015
I suppose Dr Starkey is a man you either hate or love. The Guardian once described him as "opinionated, tireless and tiresome". Tireless he definitely is: an excellent communicator who oozes a passion for history. I wish I'd had a history teacher like Starkey, who succeeds in making English history come alive, always reminding us that history is more than just pedigrees, titles and names. Starkey amply demonstrates that history is about real people falling prey to human emotions like burning ambition, jealousy, obsessive love, guilt and remorse. The psychological background to England's monarchs thus contributes to an understanding of the institutions they created.

Starkey is both knowledgeable and entertaining, straightforward and funny (e.g. "There was nothing rigid about the reign of Charles II; in fact, the only rigid thing about the Charles II was his male member"). This does not mean that he is a lightweight historian: there is a great deal of hard work and scholarly research at the heart of his analyses. He is equally at home in the Anglo-Saxon and Plantagenet period (series 1), Tudor England (series 2) and the Stuart and Hanovarian period (series 3). I also liked the comparisons he makes with more contemporary history, thus putting things in a broader perspective.

Key moments in history are acted out by credible lookalikes and complemented with beautiful views of British landscapes, which give the documentary an authentic feel. The image and sound quality is not HD but still very good.

The only drawback I could find was the scant attention paid to the reign of Queen Victoria, which is the point where the third series rather abruptly cuts off. Do not expect any information on Edward VII or George V. If you want to find out more about the history of 20th century Britain, I recommend "Royal Cousins at War" (BBC) as well as Andrew Marr's "The Making of Modern Britain" and "A History of Modern Britain".
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on 17 June 2016
An excellent boxset covering several aspects of English European and royal history. It describes in great detail the historical events and gives you an excellent understanding of how and why events happened they way they did and gives you good information about the people and the decisions they made and how they and thei descendants were affected. As its presented by the formidable David Starkey it an absolute feast for anyone interested in history.
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on 19 May 2017
The best series relating to British Royal history that I have ever seen. David Starkey is magnificent ( I wish my school history lessons had been given by him). Should be a compulsory part of school teaching.
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on 12 April 2014
A great DVD collection.

David Starkey expertly presents the history of England/Britain's monarchy, from Alfred the Great, and through over a thousand years, leading up to our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. He certainly knows his stuff, and is very thorough and well-researched on the vast topic.

Educational, yet hugely enjoyable. Cut into smaller episodes, so it's very easy to dip in and out of, or to refresh your knowledge.
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on 24 October 2013
David Starkey takes us on a journey with this box set, from the beginning of the monarchy to the present day. His episodes are easy to follow and to understand the complicated history of Britain's royalty, as well as adding subtle humour along the way. The box set includes the three monarchy series, the Elizabeth series, and a series on Henry VIIIs six wives. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about history.
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on 3 April 2016
Very in depth Monarchy Series (3 series from Saxons through Normans and right up to the present day) . Also Elizabeth and Henry VIII and his wives as well. Anyone interested in history will love this. A lot for your money as well and covering a huge amount in a reasonable amount of depth - any more would be too detailed.
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on 2 April 2017
What can I say David Starkey is fantastic at delivering history in an entertaining way. I am always completely absorbed as history unfolds like a wonderful fireside story. Thank you so much David please keep making these wonderful programmes.
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on 3 May 2014
A series of documentaries that cover the history of the British/English monarchy from around the 6th century when the Anglo-Saxons inhabited Great Britain and runs all the way up until our current monarch, Elizabeth II. There are also discs focusing on Henry VIII's wives and the life of Elizabeth I. Both provide exceptional insight into those topics.

I'm not sure I've seen anyone I would rather teach me about history than David Starkey. His infectious passion and enthusiasm for the subject reverberate throughout, and he narrates over some lovely footage of idyllic locations including castles, abbeys, cathedrals etc.

This is a must-buy for anyone interested in British history. I think if they had shown this to me in school, I probably would have aced the subject.
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on 27 April 2014
The writer/presenter first struck me as stern and perhaps dry. But not for long. He soon rises above this to be revealed as an accomplished presenter more than capable of offering expert explanation and opinion. And he really is an expert.

Recommended for anyone with a passing interest (or more) in British history, and wants to know 'Why?" and not just 'Who?'.

Price for the compilation is really good too.
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on 5 September 2013
What can you say about David Starkey that has not been said already!
Always conscious of inaccuracy in more popular versions of English history CD's, this is perfect.
His style is reassuring and his background qualifications are there to acknowledge.
I have enjoyed hours of historical updating, despite really hating History at School.
I am also conscious that this will be a wonderful resource for anyone with school-age children.
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