A History Of Britain

Who would have thought that one of last year's biggest TV success stories would be a history series?

Simon Schama's first journey through the early history of Great Britain was riveting, a hit with old and young alike. Now the historian returns with four more episodes, covering momentous changes from the death of Elizabeth I to the British Empire.

The first episode covers the turbulent period from 1603 to 1649, when a succession of monarchs and parliaments found themselves on a collision course.

Many people are oddly ignorant of the civil war that tore Britain apart in a bloody, bitter struggle, splitting family and friends. It was, says Schama, a war of ideas - an argument over liberty and obedience that has never really gone away.

Here he explains the full scale of the disaster that ended in the execution of King Charles I for treason against his country.

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