Face of Britain
Simon Schama

Book cover image

Narrated By: Roy McMillan, Simon Schama

Duration: 14 hours and 22 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The Face of Britain by Simon Schma, read by Simon Schama and Roy McMillian.

Churchill and his painter locked in a struggle of stares and glares; Gainsborough watching his daughters run after a butterfly; a naked John Lennon five hours before his death.

Simon Schama has written a tour de force about British portraits over the centuries in which the image-maker, the subject and everyone else looking on are brought unforgettably to life. Mesmerising in its extraordinary storytelling, and beautifully illustrated, The Face of Britain will change the way we see our past -- and ourselves.


History of art, Portraits & self-portraiture in art, Painting & paintings, European history

Listen to a sample

With Schama you look at a picture and see it as you hadn't before

Telegraph on 'Rembrandt's Eyes'

Splendid, spirited, immensely enjoyable and wide-ranging

Financial Times on 'The Story of the Jews'

All of these lives rendered with an acuity of detail that could rival the best of portraitists ... describing Lawrence's portrait of Wilberforce, Schama calls the painting a work of "transforming empathy". That phrase could be true of his storytelling throughout this book.

The Independent

Schama's greatest gift is a sure eye for an extraordinary story...This isn't what you get from conventional historians or conventional art writers, more's the pity...Schama has written books which will still be bought and talked about a century from now and he hasn't lost an ounce of zest or intelligence. Damn him...


Schama has a masterly ability to conjure up character and vivify conflict

Financial Times on 'A History of Britain'

Schama writes with grace and wit, and his enthusiasms are contagious

Anita Brookner on 'The Embarrassment of Riches'

Dazzling, beyond praise

Sunday Times on 'Citizens'

Shows Schama at his best . . . as full of memorable incident as a Bellow novel and wittier than a Woody Allen movie

The Times on 'The Story of the Jews'

He knows the history, the biography, and the art history...he made me look and learn. He is a great storyteller and we learn something new on every page.