Audio Book Review:
Cuthbert Collingwood:
The Northumbrian Who Saved the Nation

By Andrew Griffin
Read by Gordon Griffin

I think I - and any person who has to commute to work my car - could easily become a devotee of audio books.

You put in a CD and then listen as the words are brought to life in the perfect form for listening to while sitting behind the wheel of a car, or at an airport, or on a train.

My first encounter with an audio book is Cuthbert Collingwood The Northumbrian Who Saved the Nation from Absolute Audio Books.

Obviously it focuses on Admiral Collingwood - a highly underrated British naval warrior - who brought home the British fleet following the battle of Trafalgar and death of Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Cuthbert Collingwood The Northumbrian Who Saved the Nation details Collingwood's childhood and career and does so with an expertly told lifestory bolstered by personal accounts and readings from personal letters.

Collingwood was one of Nelson's best friends and the pair's closeness was both at sea and on shore.

His career - and the protection of Britain - was always placed ahead of his family, but this didn't stop Collingwood being a devoted and loving husband and father. His service was wide and varied and as the overall picture of the man builds by listening to his biography you understand he was a rock upon which the Royal Navy relied on so heavily.

There are four CDs in this audio book and running time is about four hours. I found myself eschewing the usual car CD music choice in favour of Cuthbert Collingwood The Northumbrian Who Saved the Nation for a week of running into and from work.

The voice work by Gordon Griffin is very pleasing and the use of various tones and accents to separate the characters is very skilfully done. Contemporary music is well used.

As said before, this new-to-me way of picking up information on the Napoleonic period has taken the fancy and I will be searching out more of them.

- Richard Moore


Cuthbert Collingwood The Northumbrian Who Saved the Nation, Absolute Audio Books, ISBN: 0-9546-6242-3.

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