If you don't know British history or anything about the English monarchy, this is an amusing introduction. However, there are so many errors that the reader shouldn't take anything at face value. For example, Roger Mortimer was first buried at Grey Friars in Coventry, not London, then moved to Wigmore Abbey where his wife Joan was buried next to him later, not Isabella of France who is buried in Grey Friars in London.
There are many anecdotes which have not a shred of truth, and others of dubious merit. While my copy was an updated version, it still doesn't have the correct burial for Richard III or the findings that the discovery of his body revealed from 2012. It's a shame because this could be a good primer if the numerous errors were corrected.
Who invented the 'House of Windsor' as a royal name? Who founded Westminster Abbey? Which king had twenty-one illegitimate children? David Hilliam answers all of these questions and more. Here is a continuous history of the English monarchy, showing how the nine dynasties rose and fell. The book describes the most memorable features of the life and times of each king and queen - from Egbert, crowned in 802 and considered the first king of England, to Queen Elizabeth II - as well as recording the extraordinary lives of their queens, consorts, mistresses and bastard children. It also tells the story of the Saxons, describes what has happened to the monarchs' mortal remains, and relates many lively incidents of royal history that rarely appear in the text books. Read of the saintly Edward the Confessor, who is believed to have refused to consummate his marriage; of teh rumbustious Henry VIII, given to beheading those who displeased him; of the 'little gentleman in black velvet', who caused the death of William III; and of Queen Victoria's strangest servant, the 'Munshi', Queen Emma, who endured a trial by ordeal; and Anne Boleyn, widely suspected of being a witch. A complete list of the monarchs' reigns and a genealogical table showing the royal descent down thirty-seven generations from Egbert to Elizabeth II adds to the volume's reference value.
About the Author
David Hilliam is the author of several books, including Crown, Orb and Sceptre; Monarchs, Murders & Mistresses; and Winchester Curiosities.