Audiobooks Narrated by Colin Fluxman

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  1. And Away... Audiobook And Away...
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  2. The Man Who Died Twice Audiobook The Man Who Died Twice
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  3. The Betrayals Audiobook The Betrayals
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  4. Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains Audiobook Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains
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  5. The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed Audiobook The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
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  6. A Touch of Darkness Audiobook A Touch of Darkness
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  7. We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman's Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economi Audiobook We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman's Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economi
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  8. Silverview: The Sunday Times Bestseller Audiobook Silverview: The Sunday Times Bestseller
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  9. Flora's Travelling Christmas Shop Audiobook Flora's Travelling Christmas Shop
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  10. The Facilitator, Part 2 Audiobook The Facilitator, Part 2
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The Picts: The History of the People Who Inhabited Scotland in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Audiobook

The Picts: The History of the People Who Inhabited Scotland in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: October 2021

Shortly after Emperor Hadrian came to power in the early 2nd century CE, he decided to seal off Scotland from Roman Britain with an ambitious wall stretching from sea to sea. To accomplish this, the wall had to be built from the mouth of the River Tyne – where Newcastle stands today – 80 Roman miles (76 miles or 122 kilometers) west to Bowness-on-Solway. The sheer scale of Hadrian’s Wall still impresses people today, but as the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century, Hadrian’s Wall was abandoned and Roman control of the area broke down. The reason Hadrian’s Wall existed in the first place was because the Romans quickly discovered that while the British Isles were populated by an assortment of Indo-European groups with many cultural similarities and affinities, the groups also had differences that often led to violent conflict. After initial conflicts, the Romans and Britons more or less worked together to build a Romano-Briton society in what is today England, especially around London, but to the north, in what is today Scotland, another Celtic group known as the Picts made most of that land their home along with Irish/Gaelic immigrants who became known as Scots.  Among all of the late ancient and early medieval people in the British Isles, few were as influential as the Picts. First mentioned in Roman sources as one of the primary groups north of Hadrian’s Wall, the Picts became known as barbarians who routinely raided the Romans and later the Britons, taking what they pleased and often returning to their mysterious land north of the wall. Unlike the Britons, who worked with and accepted many elements of Roman culture and society, the Picts were content to remain apart and be “barbarians,” at least while the Romans remained in Britain. 

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Ancient Gaza: The History and Legacy of the Crucial Territory during Antiquity Audiobook

Ancient Gaza: The History and Legacy of the Crucial Territory during Antiquity

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: October 2021

The Gaza Strip is one of the most controversial hotbeds of conflict in the 21st century, but wars are nothing new to this area of the world. Like other places across the Middle East, it has exchanged hands for three millennia and seen empires rise and fall. In the same vein, the current borders of the area known as Gaza have ebbed and flowed, to the extent that the Gaza Strip didn't have its present borders until the 20th century. Before then, Gaza City and the land around it were linked strongly to the rest of Canaan, the Sinai Peninsula, and Egypt. Although borders changed, there has historically been a significant difference between the Mediterranean coast of Canaan and its hilly interior. Gaza has played a role as an integral part of the coastal system and was usually under the control of the political and cultural entity dominant there and in the nearby plains. This remains important in the modern world, because for many complex political, religious, and social reasons, the ancient history of the region plays a role in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Today, the Arabs living in Gaza City and the Gaza Strip (and many other parts of the Middle East and the world) are named Palestinians, but while they are indirectly named after the Philistines, they are not their descendants in any direct manner. The Philistines disappeared from the region around the 6th century BCE, but after putting down a Jewish rebellion in Judea, the Romans renamed the province Palaestina. The name was meant to snub the Jews and attempt to wipe their memory away after a particularly devastating revolt against the Roman Empire. At the same time, while no one living in Palestine or Israel today is directly descended from the Philistines, there are extremely close genetic ties between the Jews and Arabs in the area, a reminder of just how far back history stretches around Gaza. 

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The Battle of Hürtgen Forest: The History of the Longest Battle Fought in Germany during World War I Audiobook

The Battle of Hürtgen Forest: The History of the Longest Battle Fought in Germany during World War I

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: October 2021

While the Battle of the Bulge is the most famous fighting in that theater after D-Day, the Battle of Hürtgen Forest cost American forces almost 60,000 battle casualties, and over 70,000 non-battle casualties from illness and accidents. Countless soldiers suffered from what was then known as “combat fatigue,” leaving them psychologically broken and no longer capable of fighting. British and Canadian forces, who became involved in the latter stages of the battle, suffered an additional 16,000 casualties. In exchange for these casualties, little ground was gained and no tactical or strategic advantage was achieved. Indeed, the battle was a resounding defeat for the Allies, which explains why it was barely reported in contemporary newspapers. Few reporters were allowed into the “Green Hell” that the forest became and, while thousands of Allied soldiers became casualties, newspaper reports at home claimed that the front was generally quiet. It wasn’t until much later that historians revealed the extent and horror of the fighting in this relatively small forest on the border between Belgium and Germany. It took almost 50 years for the first major book to be published about the battle, despite the fact it was the longest single battle ever fought by the U.S. Army. When it became known, the story of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest was horrifying. Nowhere else in World War II were so many Allied lives lost over such a long period and for so little ground gained. Many U.S. Army units suffered 50% casualty rates during the battle, and a few units suffered 100% casualties during the battle. Some commanders refused to order their men forward, and at one point, the advance was measured in terms of one dead or wounded U.S. soldier for every square yard of ground gained. The 50 square miles of the Hürtgen forest became known to the soldiers of the U.S. Army simply as the “Death Factory.” 

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The Kingdom of Judah: The History and Mystery of the Ancient Jewish Kingdom Audiobook

The Kingdom of Judah: The History and Mystery of the Ancient Jewish Kingdom

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: October 2021

Before any type of unified political entity named Israel existed, the Jewish groups whose descendants would later form Israel identified themselves by their particular tribe. If asked their nationality or country of origin, they would likely identify themselves as Danites (from the tribe of Dan; Ex. 31:6) or Ephraimites (from the tribe of Ephraim; Judg. 12:5), etc. The main way to differentiate these tribes from other tribes in Canaan was their common worship of the deity YHWH, but in terms of language or other cultural characteristics, it would have been difficult to tell a Canaanite from an Israelite. Eventually, these separate tribes united together as a type of confederation, allies who made a treaty (covenant) to provide military aid for one another when threatened by an enemy state. It was only under the charismatic leadership of David that the 12 tribes united into a single political entity. Scholars refer to the period encompassing the reign of David and his son Solomon as the United Monarchy. This period, spanning only two generations, was the only time when all of the tribes were politically united, and after a contentious schism that resulted because the northern tribes felt exploited by the Judean kings, the northern tribes seceded from the “United Kingdom” and reverted back to the ancient northern versus southern division of the tribes. The main difference this time was that the southern kingdom now incorporated the tribe of Benjamin, located at the border between these two new nations, within its political borders. The tribe of Simeon (south of Judah) had already ceased to maintain a separate existence (see below). The new northern kingdom adopted the name Israel, while the southern kingdom took their regional name of Judah.

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Mayan Warfare: The History of the Maya’s Battles and Military Tactics Audiobook

Mayan Warfare: The History of the Maya’s Battles and Military Tactics

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: October 2021

While it has historically been the Aztecs who were viewed as a militaristic civilization, there is considerable debate among scholars on the question of territorial aggression among the Maya. Since many of the Maya cities lack fortifications that are like those that Western archaeologists might have expected, it was once assumed that the Maya created for themselves an ideal, pacifistic society. However, others have theorized the Maya were particularly ferocious in warfare, taking captives for ritual sacrifice and appropriating territories through force. Still others have explained the demise of certain Maya cities by arguing that they were devastated by internecine warfare that doomed both sides of the fighting. As with many aspects of Maya society, the presence or absence of bellicose behavior is an enigma. There have been some findings of parapets and ramparts, in particular at Tikal and Becán, clear proof that the Mayans saw the need for defensive fortifications for those cities. At the same time, the fact that such ramparts were not a consistent part of Maya city construction is evidence that there was considerable variation in aggression, expansion and cooperation from one city to another. Today, it is a commonly held belief among scholars that warfare between Maya cities erupted when there was a shortage of food, either because of drought or insufficient production to support an expanding population. Although there is no direct evidence, it is supposed that one city would expand into the territory of another, sparking a competition for land. 

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Animals in Ancient Greece: The History of the Roles that Different Animals Played in Greek Societies Audiobook

Animals in Ancient Greece: The History of the Roles that Different Animals Played in Greek Societies

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: September 2021

To many in the ancient world, their gods and goddesses were all around them and could be seen daily in nature, which meant that nearly every kind of animal, both domestic and wild, was associated with a god or goddess. In places like Egypt and Greece, deities and other mythological characters were often depicted with human bodies and animal heads, and various Greek religious rituals relied on sacrificing animals. There were approximately 1,500 Greek city-states (poleis) in the Classical era, and sacrifices featured in every one of them. As such, animals were constantly involved in the core elements of Greek society and cults, and this centrality could be found in the numerous depictions of animals on coins and vases throughout Greece and Greek colonies. Greek thinkers and philosophers also endlessly debated issues relating to animals, which resulted in the Greeks acquiring formidable knowledge about the creatures with whom they came in contact. All the while, animals were important sources of food, companionship, and labor, and they also featured significantly in warfare. The majority of animal species in modern Greece are by and large the same as those that were around in ancient times. Game and fish were plentiful, along with deer, wolves, boar, lynx, and even bears. Similarly, there were numerous jackals and porcupines. There were, however, a few significant species that would have been found in the wild in Classical times, such as the agrimis (or Cretan goat) and the lion, that have either become totally extinct or virtually extinct in the modern-day region. Lions, in particular, often feature in Greek literature, and both Herodotus and Aristotle described lions in northern Greece. The presence of lions in Greece seems further confirmed by their numerous portrayals in Mycenaean art and tales of lions in Homer.

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The Moors of the Maghreb: The History of the Muslims in North Africa during the Middle Ages Audiobook

The Moors of the Maghreb: The History of the Muslims in North Africa during the Middle Ages

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: September 2021

The term Moor is a historical rather than an ethnic name. It is an invention of European Christians for the Islamic inhabitants of Maghreb (North Africa), Andalusia (Spain), Sicily and Malta, and was sometimes use to designate all Muslims. It is derived from Mauri, the Latin name for the Berbers who lived in the Roman province of Mauretania, which ranged across modern Algeria and Morocco. Saracen was another European term used to designate Muslims, though it usually referred to the Arabic peoples of the Middle East and derives from an ancient name for the Arabs, Sarakenoi. The Muslims of those regions no more refer to themselves by that term than those of North Africa call themselves Moors. Maghreb, or al-Maghreb, is a historical term used by Arabic Muslims for the territory of coastal North Africa from Alexandria to the Atlantic Coast. It means “The West” and is used in opposition to Mashrek, “The East,” used to refer to the lands of Islam in the Middle East and north-eastern Africa. The Berbers refer to the region in their own language as Tamazgha. In a limited, precise sense it can also refer to the Kingdom of Morocco, the proper name of which is al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah, “Kingdom of the West.”  Ethnically the people of North Africa are mostly of mixed Arab-Berber descent, and the Berbers are a proud and noble group of peoples dating from ancient times. The term Berber is again a foreign designation, coming from the Greek barbaroi, meaning stranger. By implication, as far as the Greeks and Romans were concerned, the word indicated the people were uncivilized. From this comes the archaic English name Barbary, used to designate the north coast of Africa and still used in “Barbary ape” and the breed of horse known as the Barb. The Berbers call themselves Imazighen, though in truth they are a grouping of different tribes rather than a strictly homogenous group.

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Imhotep: The Life and Legacy of the High Priest Who Designed Ancient Egypt’s First Major Pyramid Audiobook

Imhotep: The Life and Legacy of the High Priest Who Designed Ancient Egypt’s First Major Pyramid

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: September 2021

While the Great Pyramid of Giza is the most recognizable, the tradition of pyramid building was a long one in ancient Egypt occurring over hundreds of years, with techniques developing and improving, only to be forgotten and lost again. As a result, even as subsequent generations contributed new large-scale construction programs that changed the face of Egypt, they did so in quite different manners. The first of these was the Step Pyramid, located in the northwest of the city of Memphis in the Saqqara necropolis of Egypt. Today it is known as the Step Pyramid due to its stepped appearance, but in Egyptian times it was referred to as kbhw-ntrw. Commissioned by and made for the burial of the pharaoh Djoser, its design and construction was overseen by his vizier Imhotep. The name Imhotep has since become infused with popular culture through the popular series of Mummy movies, where the mummified remains of Imhotep are reanimated through the power of an ancient curse, leading to the shambling, linen-wrapped and decomposing undead monster haunting the hapless treasure seekers who dared disturb his resting place.[1] In reality, the ancient Imhotep was a talented architect and builder who succeeded in creating something that had never been seen before. In fact, Imhotep is considered by many to be the world’s first true scientist, or at least the first scientist known by name. Although the historical references to Imhotep are disparate, fleeting, and dispersed over a time span of nearly 3,000 years, he is without doubt one of the most influential people in early Egyptian and ancient history in general. Few ancient Egyptians who were not kings are known today, and almost none have been so revered or worshiped long after their deaths as Imhotep was.

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The Most Notorious Art Thefts of the 20th Century: The History and Legacy of Recent Attempts to Stea Audiobook

The Most Notorious Art Thefts of the 20th Century: The History and Legacy of Recent Attempts to Stea

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: September 2021

Hans Memling, a painter from Flanders, is the holder of an unfortunate record. He painted a triptych, The Last Judgment, commissioned by Medici banker Angelo Tani. The paintings were intended for a new chapel in Fiesole in Tuscany, near the city of Florence.[1] However, in April 1472, the ship on which they were being transported from Bruges to Florence was intercepted by Polish privateer and Danzig Town Council leader Paul Beneke. The captured ship and its cargo were taken to the Polish city of Gdansk, and Memling’s triptych was placed on display in St Mary’s Church in that city. The Last Judgment remained as an altarpiece in Gdansk until it was moved to the National Museum in Gdansk in the 20th century. This is generally accepted as the first documented instance of modern art theft, and it marks an important turning point. Prior to this, no self-respecting privateer would have bothered to steal a painting – they would have instead concentrated on coinage, gold or silver, or precious stones, items that, in other words, had a high intrinsic value. Paintings had no such value, though many had great subjective importance. In the 16th and 17th centuries, this began to change. Private collectors became interested in art, and suddenly, some paintings became worth a great deal of money. By the beginning of the 20th century, a number of paintings by well-known artists had become incredibly valuable. Thus, it should come as little surprise that as art began to be more highly valued and appreciated, stealing historic works also became more commonplace. The threat of theft also necessitated higher security, whether through technological advancements or personnel, which meant that the most recent attempts to steal valuable works would also be the most audacious. Whether the thefts took place during wartime (especially World War II) or in times of peace, it required ambition and daring to attempt art theft.

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Ancient Jericho: The History and Legacy of One of the World’s Oldest Cities Audiobook

Ancient Jericho: The History and Legacy of One of the World’s Oldest Cities

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: July 2021

People associate the story of ancient Jericho with walls, and for those who are Biblically inclined, they think of the walls that God brought tumbling down to the sound of trumpets. For historians who are more archaeologically oriented, it may suggest the prehistoric walls uncovered by Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger between 1907 and 1911. To modern societies, walls suggest the division between people and defenses erected out of hatred and mistrust. However, while the story of Jericho does indeed involve walls, they represented something far different than that. More than anything else, ancient Jericho was a point of convergence between cultures, kingdoms, religions, and societies. The reality of that ancient city, possibly the oldest city in human history, was nothing like the story presented in the Bible. Jericho: The History and Legacy of One of the World’s Oldest Cities examines the knowns and unknowns about the ancient city, along with its long history over nearly 12,000 years. 

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Homo habilis: The History of the Archaic Hominins and Their Use of Stone Tools Audiobook

Homo habilis: The History of the Archaic Hominins and Their Use of Stone Tools

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: June 2021

One of the earliest species of the genus Homo to be discovered is Homo habilis, which basically means “handy man.” The name comes from the belief at the time of its discovery that this species was the first to start using stone tools. The first fossils to be uncovered in Olduvai Gorge were from the same stratigraphic layer as simple stone tools. Fossils of the crania and postcranial skeleton for this species have been found in both eastern and southern Africa and date to around 2.5–1.6 million years ago. Given the gradual changes that take place in evolution, Homo habilis shares a number of characteristics that are similar to the genus Australopithecus, such as in the postcranial elements. That said, the size and shape of the Homo habilis skull are markedly different. The size of the brain is much larger relative to the size of the body, being around 680 cc. In order to house a larger brain, the skull features a more vertical frontal bone, creating a more vertical forehead. The brow ridges that sit on the lower portion of the frontal bone are also reduced in size. Other reductions in the face include reduced prognathism and a reduction in the size of the premolars and molars. Postcranial elements display clear signs of bipedalism, such as the large toe being in line with the other toes instead being off to the side as they are in modern apes. Furthermore, the arches of the foot are present, allowing the full weight of the body to be supported and act as a shock absorber when walking. The leg bones are also longer than in Australopithecus, but Homo habilis retained long arms. Other primitive features include hand and finger bones that would have made climbing in the trees easier. The robustness of the finger bones is more comparable to those of modern apes than humans.

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Queen Zenobia of Palmyra: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Levant’s Most Famous Queen Audiobook

Queen Zenobia of Palmyra: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Levant’s Most Famous Queen

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: June 2021

Although the ancient world was for the most part a patriarchal place, more than a few women rose to prominence and were able to exert political power. Hatshepsut (ruled 1479-1458 BCE) was ruler of Egypt’s mighty New Kingdom, and nearly 1,500 years later the more famous Cleopatra VII (reigned 51-30 BCE) was the regent of the Nile Valley. Many other women in Babylon, Assyria, Greece, and Rome played significant roles as regents for their young sons and occasionally as the true power behind the throne. Of these rulers, one of the most significant females in late antiquity was Zenobia, who for just a few short years in the late 3rd century CE ruled the wealthy merchant city of Palmyra. During her time as ruler, Zenobia extended Palmyra’s boundaries from its very circumscribed location in the Syrian desert to that of a full-fledged empire that included most of the Levant, Egypt, and part of Anatolia. Despite living in a man’s world, Zenobia was able to come to power and eventually challenge the Roman Emperor Aurelian (r. 270-275) through a combination of intelligence, guile, and some luck. Zenobia’s immediate impact was her direct challenge to the political authorities in both Rome and Persia. Before Zenobia, Palmyra had a fair degree of autonomy, but it was essentially a Roman client state. Palmyra’s stability and wealth were also dependent upon the various dynasties that ruled Persia: the Persians could attack Palmyra from the desert to the east or they could simply stop the trade routes, thereby destroying the city-state’s wealth. Zenobia sought to establish Palmyra as a power in its own right so that it would no longer be a pawn in the constant wars between Rome and Persia. In Zenobia’s eyes, Palmyra was a true equal of the Romans and Persians and should be given an equal place at the geopolitical table when it came to diplomacy and trade.

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