Michael Wood's Story of England, Series 1
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In a groundbreaking series, historian Michael Wood tells the story of one place throughout the whole of English history. That place is Kibworth in Leicestershire in the heart of England - a village that lived through the Black Death, the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution and was even bombed in World War Two. It's ultimately the story of people and their land over time, as we lay bare a history filled with fascinating real-life characters, including Tudor teachers, highwaymen, Suffragettes and First World War soldiers.
|1||VideoRomans to Normans||With the help of the local people and using archaeology, landscape, language and DNA, Michael Wood uncovers the lost history of the first thousand years of the village of Kibworth, featuring a Roman villa, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings and graphic evidence of life on the eve of the Norman Conquest.||58:58||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|2||VideoDomesday to Magna Carta||Michael Wood's unique portrait moves on to 1066 when the Normans build a castle in Kibworth. He reveals how occupation affected the villagers from the gallows to the alehouse, and shows the medieval open fields in action in the only place where they still survive today. With the help of the residents, he charts events in the village leading to the people's involvement in the Civil War of Simon de Montfort.||59:01||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|3||VideoThe Great Famine and the Black Death||The fascinating tale of Kibworth reaches the catastrophic 14th century when the village goes through the worst famine in European history, and then, two thirds of the people die in the Black Death. Helped by today's villagers - field walking and reading the historical texts - and by the local schoolchildren digging archaeological test pits, Michael Wood follows stories of individual lives through these times, out of which the English idea of community and the English character begin to emerge.||58:51||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|4||VideoPeasants' Revolt to Tudors||Michael Wood's gripping tale moves on to dramatic battles of conscience in the time of the Hundred Years' War. We see how the people themselves set up the first school for their children. Some villagers join in a rebellion against King Henry V, while others rise to become middle class merchants in the textile town of Coventry. On the horizon is the Protestant Reformation, but the rise of capitalism and individualism sow the seeds of England's future greatness.||59:02||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|5||VideoHenry VIII to the Industrial Revolution||The tale reaches the dramatic events of Henry VIII's Reformation and the battles of the English Civil War. We track Kibworth's 17th century dissenters, travel on the Grand Union Canal and meet an 18th century feminist writer from Kibworth who was a pioneer of children's books. The story of a young highwayman transported to Australia comes alive as his living descendents come back to the village to uncover their roots. Lastly, the Industrial Revolution comes to the village with framework knitting factories, changing the village and its people forever.||58:59||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|6||VideoVictoria to the Present Day||Michael uncovers the secret history of a Victorian village more colourful than even Dickens could have imagined. Recreating their penny concerts of the 1880s, visiting World War I battlefields with the school and recalling the Home Guard, local land girls and the bombing of the village in 1940, the series finally moves into the brave new world of 'homes for heroes' and the villagers come together to leave a reminder of their world for future generations.||58:56||£1.89||View in iTunes|
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Michael Wood's documentary looks at the history of England through the eyes of the village Kibworth in Leicestershire. If you are a fan of Wood, you will know exactly what to expect. What could be a fairly boring subject is brought to life through his enthusiasm and the excellent production standards. Having seen this now, I realize the story is much better told by concentrating on one place which has an incredible amount of primary source evidence about its past.
I want to like this, I really do. But it's really boring. I know the presenter is held in high regard but I find him rather dull. Maybe I'm not in the right frame of mind but I just can't get engaged with this. This should be more interesting than it is. It feels like homework.
Insightful, original and entertaining approach to filmmaking and history programming. Keep up the good work!