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The Kings and Queens of England [Hardcover]

Nicholas Best
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 1996
Did you know that Henry I pushed a man from the top of Rouen Castle for breaking an oath of allegiance? That Henry VI was terrified of girls? Or that George II died in the lavatory? Spanning ten dynasties and more than nine centuries, this marvelous reference provides tart, inclusive profiles of all the men and women who have occupied the English throne. 43 color illustrations.

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About the Author

Nicholas Best was fiction critic for the Financial Times for 10 years. His other titles include Five Days That Shocked the World and The Greatest Day in History. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Tiny, Inaccurate, but still can be helpful... Feb. 27 2004
Format:Hardcover
My boyfriend and I bought this book in the British Museum bookstore so we could keep the monarchs straight. For that purpose it is perfect. Each page is about the size of two credit cards, and each monarch gets two pages each- one page for a picture of him/her, and one page for a biography. The brevity of the biography obviously leads to inaccuracies in the interest of cramming it all into a single tiny page. In other words, I don't recommend using it to study for a history test, but if you want to put it in your backpack as you are touring London so you can say "Oookay, now Henry the VI was a [crummy] and weak king" as you stand over his tomb in St. George at Windsor and "Henry VII killed Richard the III, that bad guy from Shakespeare" as you stand next to Henry's tomb in Westminster Abby, it is absolutely perfect for that purpose. However, if you want a more thorough review (and loads of pictures, but less backpack friendly) of each monarch, I very much recommend Antonio Fraser's "The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England."
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tiny, inaccurate, but still has its place June 13 2000
Format:Hardcover
My boyfriend and I bought this book in the British Museum bookstore so we could keep the monarchs straight. For that purpose it is perfect. Each page is about the size of two credit cards, and each monarch gets two pages each- one page for a picture of him/her, and one page for a biography. The brevity of the biography obviously leads to inaccuracies in the interest of cramming it all into a single tiny page. In other words, I don't recommend using it to study for a history test, but if you want to put it in your backpack as you are touring London so you can say "Oookay, now Henry the VI was a [crummy] and weak king" as you stand over his tomb in St. George at Windsor and "Henry VII killed Richard the III, that bad guy from Shakespeare" as you stand next to Henry's tomb in Westminster Abby, it is absolutely perfect for that purpose. However, if you want a more thorough review (and loads of pictures, but less backpack friendly) of each monarch, I very much recommend Antonio Fraser's "The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Knowledge! May 7 2000
Format:Hardcover
My only complaint about this book is that it tells a complete falsehood of the blessed Anglican Martyr Charles Stuart. To put this in a nutshell, Queen Victoria had a grudge against several of her predecessors (including Charles the martyr.) During her reign she fabricated the tale that Charles was a self server. On the other hand she tried to make the monstrously evil Cromwell into a champion of constitution and democracy. (Don't take my word for it. Read Winston Churchill's "History of the English Speaking People" 1955). Otherwise, this book is EXCELLENT. It offers a brief listing of the different houses. It also offers a beautiful photograph of each monarch. For the most part, it offers a brief but accurate passage on each of the monarchs. One thing Best does very well is that he goes beyond common and inaccurate opinions of some famous monarchs (including Henry VIII) and gives a scholarly opinion of their contributions to England.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beware - this book is very small! Oct. 4 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I didn't pay attention to the dimensions of this book when I ordered it, so I wasn't prepared for it's size. The book is very small, as in tiny...it almost fits in the palm of my hand! Nevertheless, the book is still worth purchasing. It has beautiful color photographs of each monarch and includes a short summary on each. Although I didn't learn anything new from this book (and you probably won't either), it still makes a great addition to any historical collection.
If you are interested in reading something other than the "same old" stories about the British Monarchy, be sure to read "Kings, Queens, Bones & Bastards." It's one of the best!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Kings and Queens of England Nov. 21 1999
Format:Hardcover
If you want a coffee table book, this is not for you. Though tiny in size, this book is packed with valuable information. The illustrations, which cover all 43 of the rulers, are beautiful. The biographies are short and sweet, providing a basic background on each monarch. Also included are some humorous and shocking facts! I bought this for a friend and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it myself. It's a great value.
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