Volume I : 3000BC to AD1603 "At the Edge of the World?" (four cassettes) :-
To look back at the past is to understand the present. In this vivid account of over 4000 years of British history, Simon Schama takes us on an epic journey, which encompasses the very beginnings of the nation's identity when the first settlers landed in Orkney.
From the successes and failures of monarchs, to the daily life of a Roman Soldier stationed on Hadrian's Wall, Schama gives us a vivid, fascinating account of the many different stories and struggles that lay behind the growth of our island nation.
Volume II : 1603 to 1776 "The British Wars" (six cassettes) :-
The British wars began on the morning of 23 July 1637, heralding two hundred years of battles waged within and without our isles. Most would be driven by religious or political conviction, as Roundheads and Royalists, Catholics and Protestants, Tories and Whigs, and Colonialists and Natives vied for supremacy. Of those battles not fought on home territory, a great number took place across Europe, America, India and also at sea.
Schama's examination of this turbulent period reveals how the British people eventually united in imperial enterprise, forming what he calls "Britannia Incorporated". The story of that change evokes the memory of such enduringly influential people as Oliver Cromwell, as well as myriad accounts of equally extraordinary individuals. A story of revolution and reaction, progress and catastrophes, this is Simon Schama's account of two centuries which changed Britain almost beyond recognition.
Volume III : 1776 to AD2000 "The Fate of Empire" (six cassettes) :-
Schama concludes his monumental history of our island nation, by illuminating the period from 1776 to AD2000, through a variety of historical themes : Victorian advances in technology, industry and science ; Women's increasing roles in society ; and the burgeoning British Empire, which promised material betterment for all.
This volume looks at many key characters from the period, including Wordsworth, Burke, Queen Victoria, Churchill and Orwell, whilst examining some lesser-known lives, such as Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first female doctor, and Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse in the Crimea.
Schama also reflects on the overwhelming presence - not to mention influence - of the nation's history, on British peoples' lives in the 20th century, and the struggle of our leaders to find a way of making a different national future.
(all sixteen cassettes narrated by Timothy West. The cassettes have all been checked, and are currently in numerical order)