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This Sceptred Isle
BBC radio series about the story of the lands and peoples of Britain

This Sceptred Isle is a BBC radio series written by historian Christopher Lee about the story of the lands and peoples of Britain.
It was produced by Pete Atkin and broadcast in 1995 twice each day–in the morning and late at night–on Radio 4.
The series comprised 216 episodes, each 12–14 minutes long, and had a total duration of 46 hours.


A 29-hour-long abridged version of the programmes has been issued on CD as part of the BBC Radio Collection.



Extensions and spin-offs

In 1999 the BBC and Christopher Lee extended the programme to cover the 20th century: from 1901, where the original series had ended, to the end of the millennium.

In 2001 another shorter series entitled This Sceptred Isle: Dynasties was produced. This told the stories of the powerful and influential families of Britain and Ireland, including the Godwines, the Despensers and the Churchills.

Over the course of several months in 2005 and 2006 Christopher Lee's This Sceptred Isle: Empire, a 90-part history of the British Empire was broadcast on Radio 4. Each part was 15 minutes long.


* This Sceptred Isle

* This Sceptred Isle - Dynasties

* This Sceptred Isle - Empire

* This Sceptred Isle - The 20th Century

  1. 55 BC to 1087 (41.7Mb)
  2. 55 BC to 1087 (41.7Mb)
  3. 55 BC to 1087 (40.9Mb)
  4. 55 BC to 1087 (40.8Mb)
  5. 1087 to 1327 (41Mb)
  6. 1087 to 1327 (41.1Mb)
  7. 1087 to 1327 (41.1Mb)
  8. 1087 to 1327 (40.8Mb)
  9. 1327 to 1547 (41.3Mb)
  10. 1327 to 1547 (40.8Mb)
  11. 1327 to 1547 (41.9Mb)
  12. 1327 to 1547 (41.7Mb)
  13. 1547 to 1660 (41.7Mb)
  14. 1547 to 1660 (42.1Mb)
  15. 1547 to 1660 (41.8Mb)
  16. 1547 to 1660 (42.3Mb)
  17. 1660 to 1702 (42.2Mb)
  18. 1660 to 1702 (42Mb)
  19. 1660 to 1702 (40.7Mb)
  20. 1660 to 1702 (41.3Mb)
  21. 1702 to 1760 (42.6Mb)
  22. 1702 to 1760 (42.2Mb)
  23. 1702 to 1760 (42.4Mb)
  24. 1702 to 1760 (42.4Mb)
  25. 1702 to 1760 (40.8Mb)
  26. 1760 to 1792 (40.7Mb)
  27. 1760 to 1792 (41.9Mb)
  28. 1760 to 1792 (41.7Mb)
  29. 1792 to 1815 (34.3Mb)
  30. 1792 to 1815 (34.2Mb)
  31. 1792 to 1815 (34.1Mb)
  32. 1792 to 1815 (34Mb)
  33. 1815 to 1837 (34Mb)
  34. 1815 to 1837 (34.1Mb)
  35. 1815 to 1837 (33.4Mb)
  36. 1815 to 1837 (35.1Mb)
  37. 1815 to 1901 (41.9Mb)
  38. 1815 to 1901 (44.1Mb)
  39. 1815 to 1901 (42Mb)
  40. 1815 to 1901 (42.4Mb)
  41. The Godwins - Part 1 (12.4Mb)
  42. The Godwins - Part 2 (12.6Mb)
  43. The Despensers (12.1Mb)
  44. The Irish Dynasties (12.6Mb)
  45. The Churchills (12.5Mb)
  46. The Berkeleys (11.7Mb)
  47. The Russells (12.6Mb)
  48. The Norfolks (11.7Mb)
  49. The Dalrymples (11.8Mb)
  50. The Carringtons (12.5Mb)
  51. No Grand Plan (12.2Mb)
  52. Ireland, The First Colony (12.3Mb)
  53. Elizabeth I And Ireland (12.3Mb)
  54. Looking For China (12.2Mb)
  55. Elizabeth, Trade, And Francis Drake (12.2Mb)
  56. John Hawkins And Humphrey Gilbert (12.1Mb)
  57. Martin Frobisher And Fool's Gold (12.3Mb)
  58. Walter Raleigh And Virginia (12.2Mb)
  59. Disaster At Roanoke (12.3Mb)
  60. El Dorado And The Real Treasures (12.3Mb)
  61. Elizabeth And A New Economy (12.2Mb)
  62. The Spice Trade (12.3Mb)
  63. Towards The East Indies (12.3Mb)
  64. After The Armada And James Lancaster (12.3Mb)
  65. 1600 - The East India Company (12.2Mb)
  66. The England Of James I And VI (12.3Mb)
  67. 1606 - The Virginia Company (12.3Mb)
  68. Jamestown, Virginia (12.2Mb)
  69. Bermuda And Shipwreck (12.2Mb)
  70. Slavery - Black And White (12.1Mb)
  71. The Pilgrim Fathers And The Massachusetts Bay Company (12.2Mb)
  72. The West Indies And Sugar (12.2Mb)
  73. Barbados And Civil War In England (12.2Mb)
  74. Trade With India (12.2Mb)
  75. Clive Of India (12.2Mb)
  76. The Scottish Empire (12.2Mb)
  77. Gibraltar (12.3Mb)
  78. Canada - Wolfe And Montcalm (12.3Mb)
  79. America - The Way To Independence (12.2Mb)
  80. 1783, The Empire Loses America (12.1Mb)
  81. After The Revolution - The Boost To Canada (12.1Mb)
  82. Canada (12.3Mb)
  83. Australia - Captain Cook (12.3Mb)
  84. Australia - Transportation (12.2Mb)
  85. Australia - Sheep And Gold (12.1Mb)
  86. The Innocents (12.2Mb)
  87. Imperialism And Edward Wakefield (12.2Mb)
  88. New Zealand (12.3Mb)
  89. Shutting The Slave Market (12.2Mb)
  90. The Last Shackle Of Empire (12.3Mb)
  91. Warren Hastings (12.2Mb)
  92. The Trial Of Warren Hastings (12.3Mb)
  93. Nelson And Empire (12.2Mb)
  94. Raffles (12.2Mb)
  95. Ceylon (12.2Mb)
  96. Mungo Park (12.2Mb)
  97. The First Opium War (12.2Mb)
  98. The First Sikh War (11.8Mb)
  99. The Origins Of The Indian Mutiny (12.3Mb)
  100. The Sepoy Rebellion (I) (13.2Mb)
  101. The Sepoy Rebellion (II) (12.2Mb)
  102. End Of Mutiny (12.2Mb)
  103. The Viceroys (12.1Mb)
  104. Abyssinia (12.3Mb)
  105. West Africa - Jaw-Jaw (12.2Mb)
  106. The Missionaries (12.2Mb)
  107. South Africa - The British Arrive (12.2Mb)
  108. South Africa - Boers And Brits (12.2Mb)
  109. Zulu War (12.2Mb)
  110. Empress (12.2Mb)
  111. From Ireland To Ireland (12.2Mb)
  112. The Irish Question (12.1Mb)
  113. Egypt, Sudan, And The Suez Canal (12.2Mb)
  114. The Death Of General Gordon (12.2Mb)
  115. Bismarck's Carve-Up (12.1Mb)
  116. The Munshi (12.1Mb)
  117. Diamond Jubilee (12.2Mb)
  118. Omdurman And Churchill (12.1Mb)
  119. Boers, Outlanders, And The Jameson Raid (13.1Mb)
  120. Gold And The Second Boer War (12.2Mb)
  121. The End Of The Second Boer War (12.2Mb)
  122. Death Of The Queen Empress (12.2Mb)
  123. The Most Hated Nation Of The World (12.2Mb)
  124. Tibet (12.2Mb)
  125. Lord Curzon - Duty And The Durbar (12.2Mb)
  126. Lord Curzon - Goodbye To All That (12.3Mb)
  127. A Greater Britain (12.2Mb)
  128. Imperial Preferences (12.3Mb)
  129. Defending The Empire (12.3Mb)
  130. The Last Imperial Reign (12.3Mb)
  131. Irish Home Rule And The Road To War (12.3Mb)
  132. The Empire And The First World War (12.3Mb)
  133. The Amritsar Massacre (12.2Mb)
  134. Defending The Empire (12.2Mb)
  135. High Street Durbars (12.2Mb)
  136. India - Dominion Or Not Dominion (12.4Mb)
  137. Gandhi Or Jinnah (12.2Mb)
  138. The Empire And The Second World War (12.2Mb)
  139. India - Independence (12.2Mb)
  140. What Happened Next (12.1Mb)
  141. 1901 - A New King A New Century (12.6Mb)
  142. 1902 - South Africa, Balfour And Education (12.6Mb)
  143. 1903 - Naval Build-Up, Free Trade And Empire (12.8Mb)
  144. 1904 - Ships, Cars, Conurbations And Churchill Crosses The Floor (12.5Mb)
  145. 1905 - Rebellion In Russia And Balfour Resigns (12.1Mb)
  146. 1906 - Cornflakes, Traffic And The Moroccan Question (12.6Mb)
  147. 1907 - Women's Rights, Religious Discrimination And Military Reform (11.4Mb)
  148. 1908 - Asquith Pensions And The Balkans (12.6Mb)
  149. 1909 - The Royal Navy And Trouble Brewing In The House Of Lords (12.6Mb)
  150. 1910 - King George V (12.5Mb)
  151. 1911 - Constitutional Confrontation And The Agadir Crisis (12.6Mb)
  152. 1912 - The Titanic, Home Rule And The Marconi Affair (12.6Mb)
  153. 1913 - Ireland, Emily Davison And The Tango (12.6Mb)
  154. 1914 - The UVF And The Outbreak Of War (12.7Mb)
  155. 1915-18 - The Great War (12.6Mb)
  156. 1919 - The Origins Of The Second World War (12.6Mb)
  157. 1920 - Russia And Ireland (12.5Mb)
  158. 1922-23 - Lloyd George Out, Baldwin In (12.6Mb)
  159. 1924 - The First Labour PM And The Zinoviev Letter (12.4Mb)
  160. 1925-26 - Churchill's First Budget And The General Strike (12.5Mb)
  161. 1927-28 - Enter Hitler, And The Rise Of Motoring (12.4Mb)
  162. 1929 - Red Buses And The Wall Street Crash (12.5Mb)
  163. 1930 - European Union And India (12.6Mb)
  164. 1931 - National Government And Naval Mutiny (12.3Mb)
  165. 1932 - The King And The Dominions (12.5Mb)
  166. 1933 - The Chancellor Of Germany (12.6Mb)
  167. 1934 - The Night Of The Long Knives, And The Long March (12.6Mb)
  168. 1935 - Macdonald Resigns And Hitler Rearms (12.3Mb)
  169. 1936 - Edward VIII And Unemployment (12.5Mb)
  170. 1937 - A Coronation As War Looms (12.6Mb)
  171. 1938 - Anschluss And The Munich Agreement (12.5Mb)
  172. 1939 - The Approach Of War (12.5Mb)
  173. 1940 - Dunkirk, The Battle Of Britain, And The Evacuation (12.6Mb)
  174. 1941 - Morale, Propaganda, And The USA (12.5Mb)
  175. 1942 - The Atlantic Charter, India And Women (12.5Mb)
  176. 1943 - The Turning Of The Tide And The Beveridge Report (12.6Mb)
  177. 1944 - D-Day, Education, And The Birth Of The UN (12.5Mb)
  178. 1945 - The End Of The War And A Labour Landslide (12.6Mb)
  179. 1946 - Shortages, The National Health Bill And The UN Meet (12.6Mb)
  180. 1947 - A Harsh Winter And Independence For India (12.5Mb)
  181. 1948 - BR, The NHS And The Berlin Airlift (12.6Mb)
  182. 1949 - The Republic Of Ireland, The Farthing And NATO (12.3Mb)
  183. 1950 - War In Korea And The European Debate (12.4Mb)
  184. 1951 - The Return Of Churchill (12.6Mb)
  185. 1952 - The Death Of George (12.5Mb)
  186. 1953 - The New Elizabeth Age (12.5Mb)
  187. 1954 - The Four-Minute Mile, The H-Bomb And Eden's Frustration (12.4Mb)
  188. 1955 - The Warsaw Pact And The Departure Of Churchill (12.5Mb)
  189. 1956 - The Suez Crisis (12.5Mb)
  190. 1957 - Harold Macmillan Becomes PM And A Dog Goes Into Space (12.6Mb)
  191. 1958 - CND, Cyprus And The End Of National Service (12.5Mb)
  192. 1959 - Cuba, Cyprus, And The Russians Reach The Moon (12.5Mb)
  193. 1960 - The Wind Of Change (12.6Mb)
  194. 1961 - The Bay Of Pigs And The Building Of The Berlin Wall (12.6Mb)
  195. 1962 - TW3, The Death Of Marilyn Monroe And The Cuban Missile Crisis (12.6Mb)
  196. 1963 - Beeching, Profumo And Martin Luther King's Dream (12.5Mb)
  197. 1964 - Ian Smith, Harold Wilson And Vietnam (12.6Mb)
  198. 1965 - The Death Of Churchill, Rolling Thunder And UDI (12.6Mb)
  199. 1966 - Another Labour Victory (12.6Mb)
  200. 1967 - The Six-Day War And Devaluation (12.1Mb)
  201. 1968 - Revolution In Paris And Spring In Prague (12.6Mb)
  202. 1969 - The Troubles, Biafra, And In Place Of Strife (12.5Mb)
  203. 1970 - Edward Heath Becomes PM (12.4Mb)
  204. 1971 - Decimalisation And Ulster In Flames (12.6Mb)
  205. 1972 - Britain Joins Europe, Bloody Sunday, And Black September (12.4Mb)
  206. 1973 - Rivers Of Blood, Europe, And The Yom Kippur War (12.4Mb)
  207. 1974 - Who Governs Britain (12.5Mb)
  208. 1975 - The Birth Of Thatcherism And A Referendum On Europe (12.4Mb)
  209. 1976 - Wilson Resigns (11.6Mb)
  210. 1977 - Jubilee And Charter 77 (11.8Mb)
  211. 1978 - Camp David Devolution And A Polish Pope (12.6Mb)
  212. 1979 - Prime Minister Thatcher And The IRA (12.5Mb)
  213. 1980 - Afghanistan And Michael Foot (12.5Mb)
  214. 1981 - The SDP And IRA Hunger Strikes (12.5Mb)
  215. 1982 - The Falklands War (12.5Mb)
  216. 1983 - The Falklands Factor Election, And Star Wars (12.4Mb)
  217. 1984 - The Miners' Strike And The Brighton Bomb (12.4Mb)
  218. 1985 - Gorbachev And The Anglo-Irish Agreement (12.5Mb)
  219. 1986 - Chernobyl And The Westland Affair (12.7Mb)
  220. 1987 - The Great Debate, Black Monday, And The Great Storm (12.3Mb)
  221. 1988 - Another Thatcher Victory And Cabinet Divisions (12.4Mb)
  222. 1989 - The Fall Of The Berlin Wall, And Tiananmen Square (12.5Mb)
  223. 1990 - The Poll Tax, The ERM, And Exit Margaret Thatcher (12.4Mb)
  224. 1991 - John Major And War With Iraq (12.8Mb)
  225. 1992 - Oldies, Speculators, And Labour Falls Again (12.6Mb)
  226. 1993-94 - The Death Of John Smith Maastricht And The Balkans (12.6Mb)
  227. 1995-96 - Major Resigns And Labour Reforms (12.6Mb)
  228. 1997 - The Death Of Diana And The Election Of New Labour (12.6Mb)
  229. 1998-99 - Devolution Kosovo And The Lords (12.5Mb)
  230. 2000 - 2000 Years Of Kinship (12.4Mb)

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