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History of Britain

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  • Angelia Walker
    Anybody in the States watching the History of Britain on the History Channel? I know a couple of months ago when the British members were discussing it I was
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 1, 2000
      Anybody in the States watching the History of Britain on the History Channel? I know a couple of months ago when the British members were discussing it I was really hoping that a station here would pick it up, and lucky us, they did!

      Back to work for now,

      Angelia
    • LFortier
      I had to tape most of it last night, but caught the last hour or so where he discussed Edward s war with Scotland. I ve been enjoying it a great deal, and
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 1, 2000
        I had to tape most of it last night, but caught the last hour or so where he discussed Edward's war with Scotland. I've been enjoying it a great deal, and hope to catch up on the taped parts before tonight's episode.

        Has anyone read the book? How is it?

        Lesley

        Angelia Walker wrote:

        > Anybody in the States watching the History of Britain on the History Channel? I know a couple of months ago when the British members were discussing it I was really hoping that a station here would pick it up, and lucky us, they did!
        >
        > Back to work for now,
        >
        > Angelia
      • Susan Hicks
        ... Channel? I know a couple of months ago when the British members were discussing it I was really hoping that a station here would pick it up, and lucky us,
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 1, 2000
          Angelia wrote:

          > Anybody in the States watching the History of Britain on the History
          Channel? I know a couple of months ago when the British members were
          discussing it I was really hoping that a station here would pick it up, and
          lucky us, they did!
          >
          Hi all,

          I know I'm not Stateside but in the UK, however I just had to break silence
          and say something. IMHO, so far, Schama's History of Britain has been
          absolutely awful! I know that it's history for the masses, but the speed at
          which it has been gabbled through has left so much unsaid that what does
          appear in the programme is flawed, prone to Schama's 'clever' (not)
          soundbyte remarks and truth twisting. In places it makes a total travesty of
          British history. Examples of flaws?

          Telling the viewers in episode 2 that Orderic Vitalis was a Norman monk and
          therefore ought to have been sympathetic to William The Conqueror - wrong!
          Vitalis was Anglo-Norman, grew up speaking English at his Saxon mother's
          knee and only learned French when he was forced into the Monastery at St
          Evroul in Normandy as an unhappy boy of ten.

          Or how about episode 3. 1087 - 1216 covered in an hour. Two sentences
          about the civil war between Stephen and Matilda. Then almost an entire
          programme drivelling on about Becket before a swift gallop through Magna
          Carta. Richard Coeur de Lion almost not spoken about at all. No mention of
          the great men of the era such as Richard de Lucy, Ranulf de Glanville,
          Hubert Walter or the legendary William Marshal. Then of course there was
          the line about the 'all powerful (!!?) Eleanor of Aquitaine turning against
          Henry because she was furious about him building a shrine to his mistress
          Rosamund Clifford - simplistic and highly questionable to say the least.
          Not a sausage about David I of Scotland or Llewelyn Fawr of Wales despite
          the fact that it's supposed to be a 'history of Britain'. If I was Scots,
          Welsh or Irish, I'd not just be angry, I'd be raging. To date it's been
          English kings holding centre stage all the way down the line - not good
          enough.
          It's not just me who's spitting feathers. Several prominent members of the
          HNS in the UK have been fuming so hard that it's amazing their televisions
          have not exploded. I've given up with the series and for the sake of my
          blood pressure shall not be watching any more episodes. IMHO that series is
          a wonderful idea gone completely to waste.

          In mitigation, I have to say that the camera work is good, and I enjoyed
          watching friends and aquaintances acting out the history in the early
          episodes.

          Best
          Susan :-)
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        • Angelia Walker
          I don t know enough about early British history (Celtic, Roman Britain, etc.) to really comment on the early episodes, but I have to agree with Susan. I was
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 1, 2000
            I don't know enough about early British history (Celtic, Roman Britain, etc.) to really comment on the early episodes, but I have to agree with Susan. I was extremely disappointed in Episode 3. I remember saying to myself that 8 seconds to cover the Civil War between Stephen and Matilda was "amazing" to say the least. Then what seemed like a half hour describing Henry II and Becket: their personal relationship and then a blow-by-blow of Becket's murder. Hardly a word about Eleanor; one of the most powerful and influential people of her time. It was about that time that I turned it off to go to bed, but it's on tape and I plan to finish up before tonight's episode.

            All-in-all I'm just glad to have something historical to watch on tv. The History Channel and PBS is about the only media outlet we get in the States for history of any kind. Even then, it's (obviously) 90% American History. I get a little tired of the "history of the torque wrench...or vampires...or the Hoover Dam...and even WWII is getting a bit tiresome. So even if the show is flawed, it's better than nothing to me. If nothing else, I can sit and critique based on my limited knowledge of the subject : )

            Speaking of limited knowledge, I'm working on rectifying this. I graduated with a BA in history (no concentration...all over the board with place and time) but I'm going back Winter Semester. I'll just take one class for now (while working 40 hours/week) but I have several interesting ones to choose from: Medieval World 360; Topics in European History 468: The European Witch Hunt; or Studies in Medieval History 550: The Medieval Church. Luckily, my university is Western Michigan University and they have the Medieval Institute where I can pursue a graduate degree (now that I've decided that the Middle Ages is the place for me!).
            Well, back to work for now.

            Til Later,

            Angelia


            Susan Hicks wrote:
            > Hi all,
            >>
            > Or how about episode 3.  1087 - 1216 covered in an hour.  Two sentences
            > about the civil war between Stephen and Matilda.  Then almost an entire
            > programme drivelling on about Becket before a swift gallop through Magna
            > Carta.  Richard Coeur de Lion almost not spoken about at all.  No mention of
            > the great men of the era such as Richard de Lucy, Ranulf de Glanville,
            > Hubert Walter or the legendary William Marshal.  Then of course there was
            > the line about the 'all powerful (!!?) Eleanor of Aquitaine turning against
            > Henry because she was furious about him building a shrine to his mistress
            > Rosamund Clifford - simplistic and highly questionable to say the least.
            > Not a sausage about David I of Scotland or Llewelyn Fawr of Wales despite
            > the fact that it's supposed to be a 'history of Britain'.  If I was Scots,
            > Welsh or Irish, I'd not just be angry, I'd be raging.  To date it's been
            > English kings holding centre stage all the way down the line - not good
            > enough.
            > It's not just me who's spitting feathers.  Several prominent members of the
            > HNS in the UK have been fuming so hard that it's amazing their televisions
            > have not exploded.  I've given up with the series and for the sake of my
            > blood pressure shall not be watching any more episodes.  IMHO that series is
            > a wonderful idea gone completely to waste.
            >
            > In mitigation, I have to say that the camera work is good, and I enjoyed
            > watching friends and aquaintances acting out the history in the early
            > episodes.
            >
            > Best
            > Susan :-)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Ogygiajw@aol.com
            In a message dated 11/2/00 5:32:17 AM Eastern Standard Time, histfict@egroups.com writes:
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 2, 2000
              In a message dated 11/2/00 5:32:17 AM Eastern Standard Time,
              histfict@egroups.com writes:

              << know I'm not Stateside but in the UK, however I just had to break silence
              and say something. IMHO, so far, Schama's History of Britain has been
              absolutely awful! >>
              < The photography is occasionally striking, and, of course, to us Yanks,
              pictures of historic sites in UK are always wonderful. At the same time, I
              found, in general, this show is a deadly bore. All that time lavished on
              Becket, with so much else going on! No materials history to speak of, either,
              although I did relish the reenactments of the women embroidering the Bayeux
              tapestry, as well as the close ups of the work itself. My vote's with Susan!
              And Angela, write more about your courses, please. I am amazed to see
              there is a witchhunt section--however, it's too bad that's one of the few
              places where"Herstory" is academically addressed.
              Best,
              Juliet Waldron
              www.onlineoriginals.com/
              http://mozartswife.itpsites.com
              Nominated for the Frankfurt e-book Award
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