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Why would a woman marry a serial killer? Because she cannot refuse...Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives - King Henry VIII - commands her to marry him. Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn's trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent. But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry's dangerous gaze turns on her.The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy - the punishment is death by fire and the king's name is on the warrant...From an author who has described all of Henry's queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power and education at the court of a medieval killer.
- RRP £24.99
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With 20 CDs adding up to over 25 hours' running time, this abridged audiobook collection contains Ken Follett's epic masterpiece Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End.
- RRP £60.00
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Pillars of the Earth is a thrilling drama set in 12th century England that revolves around a family conflict surrounding the building of a cathedral. World Without End is set two centuries later in medieval Kingsbridge and it once again finds men, women and children having to grapple with the devastating sweep of historical change.
Both are read by beloved actor Richard E. Grant and provide captivating listening whether you're at home, in the car or on a longer journey.
Format: CD (abridged)
Barbara Jefford is the hilariously outrageous Lucia in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the novel by E.F. Benson. Lucia is the uncrowned queen of 1920s provincial society, the Everest of social climbers and the most delicious of snobs. In the pastoral serenity of the village of Riseholme, Lucia and her unforgettable cronies face up to an Indian guru, spiritualism and a cultural usurper. E.F. Benson's wickedly witty satires on the rivalries of English middle-class life have elevated Lucia's extravagant exploits to cult comedy status.
- RRP £16.50
As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War. When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene. In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement - as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together. Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin. From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of Sixties' London, Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known.
- RRP £23.99
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The third of the six new re-packaged collections - this audio product is a breathtaking bind up of sea-faring tales read by Robert Hardy. Perfect for the quintessential Patrick O'Brian fan! For the first time ever Patrick O'Brian's famous and much-loved Aubrey-Maturin novels will be available on audio CD which have been split into six collections. Follow the adventures of Jack Aubrey and his ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin. Theirs is one of the greatest friendships in all literature. These collections are a perfect tribute to such a literary achievement and a perfect gift for the O'Brian enthusiast. Collection Three contains The Surgeon's Mate, The Ionian Mission and The Treason's Harbour.
- RRP £19.99
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This is a full-cast dramatisation of one of the greatest war novels of all time. First published as a novel in 1929, All Quiet on the Western Front tells the story of a group of young German soldiers who are enduring, and then coming to terms with, the realities of the First World War. At the age of 19, following the outbreak of the First World War, Paul Baumer enlists in the German Army. He is deployed to the Western Front, where the experience of life and death in the trenches has an enormous effect on him. He begins to feel disconnected from his past life: his family, his love of poetry, and his feelings. As the war progresses, Paul becomes increasingly lost in battle. Haunting yet comic, lyrical yet desperate, the novel became a bestseller on its original publication. It inspired an Oscar-winning film of the same name, and has been adapted for television and stage. This powerful radio dramatisation stars Robert Lonsdale as Paul Baumer, with a supporting cast including Simon Trinder, Stephen Critchlow, Carolyn Pickles and Malcolm Tierney.
- RRP £13.25
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More fantastic adventure tales written by Bernard Cornwell. This collection contains 'Excalibur', 'WinterKing' and 'Enemy of God'. A triology containing Excalibur, Winter King and Enemy of God. Excalibur The third novel in the Warlords Chronicle, Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur immerses the reader in the Britain of the Dark Ages. Merlin, the greatest of the Druids, believes that the ancient gods are deserting Britain, and that the invading Saxons can't be defeated without the gods' help. Mordred reigns with a brutal hand, and Arthur sees his dreams of peace evaporate. The author provides exciting descriptions of swordplay and battles, interspersed with somewhat gruesome depictions of ordinary life in those days--greasy, waist-length beards serving as napkins, lambs bloodily sacrificed before festivals, and rampant lice. Winter King Cornwell really is one of the nation's most impressive authors. And whether he's writing a maritime thriller or a napoleonic war novel, he never disapoints. The Winter King see's the beginning of the Warlord Chronicles, quite possibly the best series he's written, and follows the story of Derfel, through childhood, into Arthur's service and in the following books, through war and into his old age. Enemy of God Enemy of God is the second book in The Warlord Chronicles series by Bernard Cornwell. The trilogy tells the legend of Arthur seen through the eyes of his follower Derfel Cadarn.
- RRP £19.99
This is a BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the powerful novel set in the First World War, from the author of War Horse. This is the story of Thomas 'Tommo' Peaceful, a young soldier who finds himself in Belgium, in the trenches of the First World War, with his brother Charlie. It is also the story of Tommo's life, growing up in Devon with his brothers, and of his love for Molly, the beautiful girl he met on his first day at school. As the story unfolds, from past to present, so approaches the hour when Tommo and Charlie will be separated for ever. The horrors of the First World War, and the injustice meted out to the soldiers who fought in it, are movingly described. Recorded on location Iddesleigh, the Devon village where the book is set, this radio dramatisation features among its cast Paul Chequer, Nicholas Lyndhurst and author Michael Morpurgo himself.
- RRP £13.25
I have lost my father in battle, my sister to Elizabeth Woodville's spy, my brother-in-law to Elizabeth Woodville's executioner, my nephew to her poisoner, and now my son to her curse...' The gripping and ultimately tragic story of Anne Neville and her sister Isabel, the daughters of the Earl of Warwick, the most powerful magnate in England through the Cousins' Wars. In the absence of a son and heir, he ruthlessly uses the two girls as pawns but they, in their own right, are thoughtful and powerful actors. Against the backdrop of the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne turns from a delightful child growing up in intimacy and friendship with the family of Richard Duke of York to become ever more fearful and desperate as her father's enemies turn against her, the net closes in and there is, in the end, simply nowhere she can turn, no one she can trust with her life.
- RRP £17.99
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This is a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Rosemary Sutcliff's much-loved tale of honour, comradeship and courage. Somewhere around the year 117AD, a Roman garrison called the Ninth Legion was ordered to put down an uprising among the Caledonian tribes. Four thousand men vanished without trace into the swirling mist of the north of Roman Britain. Many years after their disappearance a young centurion, Marcus Aquila, decides to discover the truth about what happened to the legion and to its First Cohort Commander - his father. This gripping dramatisation tells the story of Marcus' often perilous journey as he searches to solve the mystery, and to bring back the symbol of the lost legion's honour - their standard, the Eagle of the Ninth. Now adapted as a major motion picture - "The Eagle", starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland - "The Eagle of the Ninth" is a timeless tale that will thrill all listeners. This recording was previously available on cassette.
- RRP £13.25
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"Laws are silent in times of war." (Cicero). There was a time when Cicero held Caesar's life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero's life is in ruins. Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles. His comeback requires wit, skill and courage - and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome. But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others. Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man - a hero for his time and for ours. This is an unforgettable tour de force from a master storyteller.
- RRP £20.00
A thrilling BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation based on CJ Sansom's bestselling Tudor crime novel. Winter, 1537. Henry VIII has declared himself Supreme Head of the Church, and instructed his chief minister Thomas Cromwell to dissolve England's religious houses and seize their wealth. But Cromwell's plot to bring down the abbeys has hit a snag - one of the King's Commissioners has been found brutally murdered in Scarnsea monastery, on the south coast of Kent. If news of the killing were to get out, the consequences could be disastrous. Desiring a quick, discreet result, he sends his trusted lawyer-detective, Matthew Shardlake, to investigate. However, as Shardlake interviews the prime suspects and delves deeper into the mysteries of Scarnsea, it soon becomes clear that the case will not be as simple to solve as he had hoped. Which of the terrified monks is the murderer? And can Shardlake catch him before he strikes again? CJ Sansom's 'Shardlake' series has sold over two million copies, and this atmospheric dramatisation starring BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries) brings his debut novel to electrifying life. Fast-paced and suspenseful, it is both an engrossing murder mystery and a brilliantly realised portrayal of Tudor England. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.
- RRP £13.25
A gripping BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation based on the second novel in C. J. Sansom's bestselling Tudor crime series. Summer, 1540. It has been three years since the terrible events at Scarnsea monastery, and lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake is living a quiet life in London - until a summons from Cromwell sees him embarking on another dangerous secret assignment. Someone has stolen the last barrel of 'Greek Fire': a legendary, highly potent incendiary weapon thought lost since the fall of Constantinople. Shardlake is tasked with tracking it down - and he must move quickly, for Cromwell is out of favour with the King and is relying on the precious substance to save his skin. But Shardlake has another, equally urgent case to deal with - defending an orphan girl, Elizabeth Wentworth, who is accused of murdering her young cousin. Aided by Cromwell's man, Barak, Shardlake must race against time to solve both cases, for the fates of both Cromwell and Elizabeth depend on him...Winner of the 2005 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award, Dark Fire is the second thrilling instalment in the 'Shardlake' series. This atmospheric crime drama, starring Justin Salinger as Shardlake, Bryan Dick as Barak and Robert Glenister as Thomas Cromwell, features deception, dark secrets, captivating characters and a vibrant historical setting. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.
- RRP £13.25
Richard Burton narrates the second volume of this famous dramatic chronicle of the English Crown, a treasure of the BBC radio archive published on CD for the very first time. Vivat Rex is the landmark drama series first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1977. Over the course of 26 instalments, each one narrated by Richard Burton with a full cast, the fortunes of the English Crown are followed through 225 years of British history, from Edward II's accession in 1307 to the birth of Elizabeth I. Each drama is adapted by Martin Jenkins from the works of Shakespeare, Marlowe and their Elizabethan contemporaries. This second volume features the final 13 instalments, beginning with Martin Jarvis as Henry V and concluding with the birth of Elizabeth I. Vivat Rex includes a stirring musical score by Christopher Whelen.
- RRP £35.00
Matthew Shardlake is back in Lamentation, from the number one bestselling author C. J. Sansom. Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government of Henry's successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward. As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focus their attack on Henry's sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake's old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr. Shardlake, still haunted by events aboard the warship Mary Rose the year before, is working on the Cotterstoke Will case, a savage dispute between rival siblings. Then, unexpectedly, he is summoned to Whitehall Palace and asked for help by his old patron, the now beleaguered and desperate Queen. For Catherine Parr has a secret. She has written a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner, so radically Protestant that if it came to the King's attention it could bring both her and her sympathizers crashing down. But, although the book was kept secret and hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen's private chamber, it has - inexplicably - vanished. Only one page has been found, clutched in the hand of a murdered London printer. Shardlake's investigations take him on a trail that begins among the backstreet printshops of London but leads him and Jack Barak into the dark and labyrinthine world of the politics of the royal court; a world he had sworn never to enter again. Loyalty to the Queen will drive him into a swirl of intrigue inside Whitehall Palace, where Catholic enemies and Protestant friends can be equally dangerous, and the political opportunists, who will follow the wind wherever it blows, more dangerous than either. The theft of Queen Catherine's book proves to be connected to the terrible death of Anne Askew, while his involvement with the Cotterstoke litigants threatens to bring Shardlake himself to the stake. The previous books in the bestselling Shardlake series are Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation and Heartstone.
- RRP £35.00
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This title is a winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2009. It is a special Edition featuring Exclusive Author Interview on Bonus CD. Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60 per cent of the author's work and as low as 30 per cent with characters and plotlines removed.
- RRP £35.74
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Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009 and read by Dan Stevens, star of TV's Downton Abbey. 'Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,' says Thomas More, 'and when you come back that night he'll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks' tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.' England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.
- RRP £16.00
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The latest in the bestselling Alfred series from number one historical novelist, Bernard Cornwell. In the last years of the ninth century, King Alfred of Wessex is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth. The Danes, who have failed so many times to conquer Wessex, smell opportunity! First comes Harald Bloodhair, a savage warrior leading a Viking horde, who is encouraged to cruelty by his woman, Skade. But Alfred still has the services of Uhtred, his unwilling warlord, who leads Harald into a trap and, at Farnham in Surrey, inflicts one of the greatest defeats the Vikings were ever to suffer. This novel, the fifth in the magnificent series of England's history tells of the final assaults on Alfred's Wessex, that Wessex survived to become England is because men like Uhtred defeated an enemy feared throughout Christendom.
- RRP £19.99
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France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre is ordered to serve the German officers who socialise in her hotel. When the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by her husband Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born. Almost a century later, Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth - and its troubled history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down -
- RRP £25.52
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Richard Burton narrates this famous dramatic chronicle of the English Crown, a treasure of the BBC radio archive published on CD for the very first time. Vivat Rex is the landmark drama series first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1977. Over the course of 26 instalments, each one narrated by Richard Burton with a full cast, the fortunes of the English Crown are followed through 225 years of British history, from Edward II's accession in 1307 to the birth of Elizabeth I. This first volume includes the first 13 instalments, beginning with John Hurt's portrayal of Edward II. The stellar cast includes John Hurt, Paul Eddington, Keith Michell, Derek Jacobi, Michael Redgrave, Maureen O'Brien, Patrick Troughton, Timothy West, Robert Hardy, Martin Jarvis, Anthony Quayle, Robert Harris, Robert Powell, June Whitfield, Roy Dotrice, Billie Whitelaw and Colin Baker. Each drama is adapted by Martin Jenkins from the works of Shakespeare, Marlowe and their Elizabethan contemporaries, and each includes a stirring musical score by Christopher Whelen. Also included in this collection are bonus interviews with Vivat Rex writer, producer and director, Martin Jenkins, studio manager Enyd Williams and actor Martin Jarvis, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.
- RRP £35.00
BBC2's major Autumn 2015 TV series THE LAST KINGDOM is based on Bernard Cornwell's bestselling novels on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. The Last Kingdom is the first book in the series. Uhtred is an English boy, born into the aristocracy of ninth-century Northumbria. Orphaned at ten, he is captured and adopted by a Dane and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred's fate is indissolubly bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the only English kingdom to survive the Danish assault. The struggle between the English and the Danes and the strife between christianity and paganism is the background to Uhtred's growing up. He is left uncertain of his loyalties but a slaughter in a winter dawn propels him to the English side and he will become a man just as the Danes launch their fiercest attack yet on Alfred's kingdom. Marriage ties him further still to the West Saxon cause but when his wife and child vanish in the chaos of the Danish invasion, Uhtred is driven to face the greatest of the Viking chieftains in a battle beside the sea. There, in the horror of the shield-wall, he discovers his true allegiance. The Last Kingdom, like most of Bernard Cornwell's books, is firmly based on true history. It is the first novel of a series that will tell the tale of Alfred the Great and his descendants and of the enemies they faced, Viking warriors like Ivar the Boneless and his feared brother, Ubba. Against their lives Bernard Cornwell has woven a story of divided loyalties, reluctant love and desperate heroism. In Uhtred, he has created one of his most interesting and heroic characters and in The Last Kingdom one of his most powerful and passionate novels.
- RRP £19.99
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Albia is a remarkable woman in a man's world: young, widowed and fiercely independent, she lives alone on the Aventine Hill in Rome and makes a living as an investigator. A mysterious death at a local villa may be murder and, as the household slaves are implicated, Albia is forced to involve herself. Her fight is not just for justice; she's also battling for the lives of people who can't fight for themselves.
- RRP £20.41
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From acclaimed historical writer Conn Iggulden comes a novel set in the red-blooded days of Anglo-Saxon England. This is the original game for the English throne. In the year 937, King Aethelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to throw a great spear into the north. His dream of a kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field and the passage of a single day. At his side is Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit, perhaps enough to damn his soul. His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome - from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan's vision, by his guiding hand, England may come together as one great country - or fall back into anarchy and misrule ...From one of our finest historical writers, Dunstan is an intimate portrait of a priest and performer, a visionary, a traitor and confessor to kings - the man who changed the fate of England.
- RRP £25.00
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It is 1978, Jess and her mother Eleanor struggle to sell socialism to Tamworth - a sleepy Midlands town that just doesn't want to know. So when Eleanor is invited to spend a summer teaching in East Germany, she and Jess jump at the chance. But friends can become enemies, and Jess soon discovers how easy it is to switch sides, and how sides can be switched for you, sometimes without you even knowing.
- RRP £20.41
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