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Our Island Story: Volume 1 - From the Romans to Richard the Lionheart [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

H. E. Marshall , Daniel Philpott , Anna Bentinck

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Book Description

June 6 2007 Junior Classics
"Our Island History" by H. E. Marshall is an Edwardian history book for younger listeners (6-12) which tells the story of England, concluding with the reign of Queen Victoria. Antonia Fraser and many other current historians declare that it was this book that opened the delights of history for them. It fell from fashion from the 1960s, but its recent re-release in hardback has seen it become a publishing surprise in the UK, with sales of some 75,000 copies in a few months. Now, Naxos AudioBooks releases it unabridged in three volumes released in March 2006, April 2006 and May 2006, divided into three clear periods of history. Though slightly edited to take account of historical changes and attitudes, it is presented unabridged.

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"I was given HE Marshall's Our Island Story at Christmas 1936 and I've still got that copy. It was a direct inspiration for me in my career as a historian." Lady Antonia Fraser "...the reason that parents will go to such lengths to try to track down copies of Our Island Story is because of the sheer quality of the writing. Telling a story from history might be old-fashioned, but it stimulates a child's imagination like nothing else." Andrew Roberts, The Sunday Times, 2005 "Our Island Story is a marvellous antidote to the fractured, incoherent history most primary school childen are taught today. It chimes with the Prince of Wales's campaign to restore narrative and chronology to history teaching and has been endorsed by Antonia Fraser, one of our leading historians, who says the book has earned her lifelong gratitude." John Clare, Education Editor, The Daily Telegraph "H E Marshall's Our Island Story, first published in 1905, must rank as one of the most influential works of history of the 20th century." Sean Lang, Times Educational Supplement --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Surprisingly little is known about the life of Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall. She is thought to have been born in 1867, but the date of her death is unknown. She concealed her gender using the initials H. E. in her writing. Her most widely read book, Our Island Story, was first published in 1905 and went through many editions. She penned several other books including Our Empire Story, Scotland's Story and King's and Things, the latter two also having been recently republished by Galore Park. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Publishing Not Up To Par For Wilder Publications Version Aug. 19 2009
By Rose Bloom - Published on Amazon.com
I purchased this version for a history living book as part of the Ambleside Online curriculum. This book spans several years and I plan to read it with three children so, all things being equal, I decided to buy the least expensive, unabridged version, figuring that bare bones would be fine as long as the content was there.
Sadly, I have not been impressed with this Wilder Publications version. It does appear to be unabridged, but the font is small, the lines are close together (explains the difference in number of pages between this and other versions), and the type is faint and thus hard to read. There is no table of contents, the chapters are not numbered, and each chapter begins a few scant lines after the end of the preceding one. This may reduce the page count, but it is definitely not reader-friendly if you are trying to find a specific chapter or lost your place in reading. In addition, the proofing was poor, as I have found several typos in the few chapters we've read so far. I expected to hand this book over to my 8-year-old to read on his own, but the mistakes could influence his understanding of the material, which, by the way, is outstanding.
All in all, I'd recommend spending a few extra bucks to buy an edition that was published with higher standards. [...]
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British History that is fun April 14 2006
By living book lover - Published on Amazon.com
This is a such a fun history of England. My children love reading this book. We read a couple of chapters aloud each week. We have just started our second time through.

The chapters are relatively short. For the most part, the book is organized chronologically by King (or Queen). Each chapter (or sometimes several chapters) hits the high points of each King or Queen's reign.

Make history come alive for your children by reading this book to them.

This is a nice softcover edition. Check out the publishers other books. You can pretty much assume it is going to be interesting to your children if they have published it. I have several of their books and every one has been a hit with our family.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this book.... Sept. 7 2006
By Jo - Published on Amazon.com
I read this aloud last spring to my 3 boys, ages 10, 12, and 13. They all really enjoyed it and I enjoyed reading it.

The only (small) negative I could give it is that there are several spelling mistakes-mostly a missing letter in a word. I corrected that as we went along for the next time I read it aloud. It really wasn't a problem but I just thought I should point that out.

We are now reading the sequel about our own country (America) called "This Country of Ours" and enjoying that one as well. I can highly recommend both books, as well as "Fifty Famous Stories Retold" which is usually bought along with these two. That one is especially easy to narrate from as the stories are very short-often just 2 pages.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Illustrations are in black and white Sept. 17 2009
By Nicole Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just so you know, in the Yesterday's Classics edition, the illustrations are not in color. I thought it wouldn't matter, but after I received the book I saw the illustrations in color online and they are sooo much more lovely! I'm returning this one for an edition with color illustrations (the one from Phoenix Press).

Aside from this, the YC edition is fine -- nice font size, easy to read.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overall, but two serious flaws Jan. 26 2010
By Cordelia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am using this book with multiple ages of elementary -level kids in my homeschool. We like it overall, and will continue to use it because it is a unique kind of history book, with alot of information presented in story form rather than dry textbook-style. But this book does have 2 serious flaws.

First, we bought the Wilder edition, which lacks any chapter numbers of any kind. Small typeface, numerous typos, no pictures. This is a wretched edition. I am reading this aloud to my kids, but if they were reading it themselves, I would have rejected this and bought the Yesterday's Classics edition.

Second, I hoped we wouldn't but unfortunately we have stumbled upon some anti-Catholic bias. The most glaring so far is the chapter on Edward the Confessor, which presents him almost entirely unlikeable and different from any accurate history of King Edward-- SAINT Edward, may I add, and sainthood is not granted capriciously--that I have read. Sadly, I will have to research the rest of the topics in this book on my own so that I will be armed with facts, and will no longer be able to blindly trust H.E. Marshall's text. I like aspects of it enough to continue using it, but not without some serious fact-checking first.

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