The Crown Jewels Hardcover – Sep 20 2011
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Very highly recommended as an outstanding presentation. — The Midwest Book Review
[This book] is a must for those with a fascination of British royalty and history, along with those who have a fascination with fine jewelry as well. — The Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Anna Keay was a curator at the Tower of London and now works at English Heritage. Her books include The Magnificent Monarch, The Elizabethan Tower of London, and The Crown Jewels.
Top Customer Reviews
The historical details in each section are great as well: shocking to realize how often these things have been pawned, sold, or even melted down. A summary index in the back shows thumbnail photos with information for each, very handy resource. This won't be the only book I buy on the Crown Jewels!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First and foremost, it is a coffee table book that you can peruse at your leisure. Any page you turn to will have glorious pictures, most covering the entire leaf with captions and descriptions. The cover photo is of the official Imperial Crown made for King George VI, QEII's father, in 1937. It was sized down to fit her and is in current use. (See her coronation picture in Images.)
Second, it is a history of the Crown. Via examining the ancient inherited riches, it is a natural flow to explain the royalty in England, the world's premier monarchy. I have focused on the crowns in the Images but the other regalia including, orbs, scepters, robes, gifts, the extensive jewel collection and portraits help tell the entire story. The following appears in the book:
"The story of the royal family in the 18th century is a tale of fathers and sons. With chilling consistency, each generation loathed the next: George I was on lamentable terms with his son George II; George II detested his son, Frederick Prince of Wales, while Frederick's son George III, considered his heir, George IV, to be an imbecile."
My husband is from England and, coincidentally, soon after giving me this book for Christmas, my husband's sister mailed him a letter in the envelope shown above. With the recent issuance of the stamp which comprises the cover of this book, and with the Olympics, the royal wedding and Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee approaching, there is renewed interest in the glory of England. As a student of Tudor times and having a love of all that is British, I applaud this.
The paperback has only 179 pages as opposed to the 204 pages in the hardback. The paperback has 189 illustrations, 172 in colour, whilst hardback offers 296 illustrations, 277 of which are in colour. Sizing is different too. The hardback is so much larger at 32.5cm x 27.7cm, poor old paperback is only 27.2cm x 22.8cm.
Of course the price reflects the sizing and paperback verses hardback, but well worth getting the better version, after all the Crown Jewels are not about to change. The writing of history and background is most interesting and in future I shall be able to spot the fakes with paste jewels, oh yes there are quite a few, all above board. To sum up, its worth the more expensive price for the amazing new photographs in the highest, clearest detail. Well done Anna Keay and her team, I doubt this book will ever be bettered.
If you enjoy History AND jewelry, this book is for you. The book itself arrived wrapped like a Crown Jewel with purple and scarlet velvet ribbon !
The photography is spectacular. The text is inclusive without being too scholarly.
I can't afford a trip to London this year, but this book is a good substitute.