A History of Britain

A History of Britain

DVD - 2010
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The fifteen-part series explores the vast history of the British Empire from 3000 BC to 1965. Simon Schama's compelling storytelling skills breathe new life into the dramatic stories of lives and moments in Britain's rich and colorful past.
Publisher: [London] : 2 Entertain ; Burbank, CA : Distributed in the USA and Canada by Warner Home Video, [2010]
Edition: Special edition
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9781419888700
Branch Call Number: DVD 941 H62961 2010
Characteristics: 6 videodiscs (approximately 882 min.) : sound, color and black and white ; 4 3/4 in
Language Note: Subtitled for the deaf and hard of hearing


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Nov 10, 2018

While I liked Simon Schama's presentation style with his animated wordsmithing and subtle humor, I did not like the overall series. Most of the material (episodes 2-10) focuses either on the current monarch and his/her adversaries or the state of religion. Not much relates to the position or attitude of the average Briton. Also, the simulated scenes were laughable at best.

Oct 13, 2018

Lots missing, lots only tangentially referred to. He's definitely got a bias. He's also got a period: we go through the Victoria era twice, once in India, and once in England. Much of what we see is recycled, hard to comprehend video of battles and such, sometimes with little apparent bearing on what he's saying. Yes, OK, it's hard to cover all of British history in 14 hours, but it would be easier if we didn't have so much dead space and time-filler.

May 12, 2018

A very well put together series; uses of animations, re-enactments, documents (both real and re-enacted) and even humble artifacts. Engagingly narrated and judgmental, but neither overly so nor too idiosyncratically so. It was overwhelmingly about the governance of the country and there was relatively little about how the institutions worked or even social history. I thought that the last half was far better than the first half. On the bonus disc the lecture on TV and problems of history was quite good. The last disc and the bonus disc of the set I borrowed were scratched and didn't play smoothly. On account of its length, it was hard to watch in a week, even in two (15 hour long episodes), but I would watch it again.

SnoIsleLib_MaronR Mar 29, 2018

The gold standard of British history documentaries. Schama was able to revitalize familiar stories, through an art historian's eyes. His piercing wit and impressionistic visuals were completely novel in 2000, and "A History of Britain" not been improved upon to this day.

Dec 11, 2013

Good synopsis of British history for those who may not be familiar with it. It is an entertaining presentation on a most fascinating subject. Those looking for more in depth coverage though may wish to look elsewhere.


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