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Crown and Country: A History of England through the Monarchy [Paperback]

David Starkey
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Sep 2011

From one of our finest historians comes an outstanding exploration of the British monarchy from the retreat of the Romans up until the modern day. This compendium volume of two earlier books is fully revised and updated.

The monarchy is one of Britain’s most revered institutions – but also one of its most tumultuous. In Crown and Country, David Starkey charts its rollercoaster history from earliest times to the present; from the courtly love of the Middle Ages, through the turbulent reign of the Tudors, to the chaos of the Civil War.

Starkey brings this tempestuous story up to date in this complete history, guiding us through the Abdication Crisis to the dissolution of the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. He draws upon rank and romance in light of the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William and brings to life a cast of colourful characters and some riveting stories. Crown and Country is both a brilliant overview of the monarchy and a vividly iconoclastic portrait of British culture, politics and nationhood.


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Crown and Country: A History of England through the Monarchy + Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII + Elizabeth: Apprenticeship
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Product details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress; Reprint edition (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007307721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007307722
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr David Starkey is Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He is a winner of the W.H.Smith Prize for Biography (for Elizabeth) and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Service to History presented by the Historical Association.

Product Description

Review

‘Eminently readable…Starkey is particularly good at explaining the shifting tone of monarchical power…“Crown and Country” is a masterpiece of accessible history, underscored with profound scholarship…the author’s passion for his subject, the royal tale of England, which is the backbone of this nation’s story explodes from every page. I defy anybody not to enjoy this book.’ Guardian

‘Entertaining…Starkey writes with the snappy zest of an unrepentant telly-don…he has a lovely eye for a good story…he also has a nice line in snarky humour…Starkey’s great skill is to weave big themes quietly into a rollicking narrative so that you absorb them almost without noticing they are there.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Excellent…the really crucial events in the history of the British Monarchy…are assessed with authority, wisdom and wit…This is Starkey at his fluent and entertaining best.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘This book…is vivid, lucid and engaging…his judgements delivered with quasi-Pontifical assurance are often acute…a very enjoyable book.’ Daily Telegraph

‘David Starkey tours England's monarchical horizon with gusto.’ Sunday Times

‘Starkey brings the past to vivid life.’ Daily Express

‘Combines compelling narrative and lucid analysis to guide us with a sure hand…Starkey’s book will undoubtedly make him and his publishers a tidy profit.’ Spectator

From the Back Cover

From one of our finest historians comes an outstanding exploration of the British monarchy from the retreat of the Romans up until the modern day.

The monarchy is one of Britain’s most venerable and revered institutions – but also one of its most volatile. Starkey brings the tempestuous story up to the present, guiding us through the dissolution of the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, with a new chapter on the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, royal weddings and the future of monarchy.

Throughout, Starkey highlights both the strength and the terrible fragility of an institution that has seemed, at times, perilously close to extinction. He offers not only a brilliant overview of British history through her kings and queens but also a vivid portrait of British culture, politics and nationhood, embodied in an institution that has defined the realm for nearly two thousand years.

‘Excellent…the really crucial events in the history of the British Monarchy…are assessed with authority, wisdom and wit…This is Starkey at his fluent and entertaining best’ Sunday Telegraph


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Compendium 20 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover
Buyers please note, this volume brings together two previously published works under the title Monarchy. The cynic in me says this is a clever ploy as it's not overly obvious on the cover.
Starkey is very readable, perhaps surprisingly so, this isn't heavy or dry and is in fact an easy read. Perhaps too easy. At times I felt he was glossing over too much, the book rattles along at quite a pace without much depth or time being given to any one period. Great for schoolchildren as the previous post said, gives you all the dates and names, but for in depth detail I'm afraid this book will leave you wanting.
Again agree with previous post, there are some factual errors here, very surprising, inexcusable really and would hope they are corrected when this goes to paperback.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great high level view of the English monarchy. 2 July 2011
By Jacks
Format:Hardcover
I have read a few books on various English kings. This book does a great role of piecing them all together without getting boggled down on a certain reign or time period.

It gives a high level overview of a monarch's reign and their high-lights and it achieves this in equilibrium across each reign. That includes no additional coverage for Agincourt or Crecy for example and i couldn't detect any favouritism.

The book read's easy and flows very well, this would appeal to the causal reader like myself, but maybe not the more learned historian who probably knows all the coverage already or the pedantic historian, who may pick up on a date or a individuals name spelt incorrectly.

Highly recommended, informative read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the tv series 1 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
very dull and dry - have not been able to relate to the book as I did to the tv series
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars starkey crowns it again 21 Mar 2012
By poleon
Format:Hardcover
Superb. Easy to read and understand. Nobody does it better. Parts of history which are not easily understood become clear in Starkeys capable writing. Starkey and the Tudors are as one but to produce such an expansive volume on the English monarchy shows what a master of history he is. Reading Crown and Country is a must for those whose knowledge of history before the Tudors and after William and Mary, is woolly. As an academic subject of study history was way down the list but David Starkey has rekindled the interest. This book has broadened that study to discover more about the early kings and queens of England before the Tudors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Diagrams unreadable on Kindle- Again! 21 Jun 2013
By MC
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very cross - the diagrams do not diplay on the Kindle or on my Knidle for PC. something I have noticed with great annoyance lately in other purchases- If you are going to sell books in this format it really isn't good enough if they don't work correctly and as of now each time this happens I will take the time to point it out- if I bought a new book from a shop and the opening pages were torn out I would take it back...
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Schoolboy howlers 1 Oct 2010
By Lily
Format:Hardcover
Well written and interesting overview of the history of England, let down by poor proof reading especially in the family trees, which have, amongst other fundamental mistakes, Charles I's reign finishing 19 years before he was beheaded and William IV and George IV sitting on the throne during the same years, namely 1820 to 1830 - must have been a tight fit!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best history books in existence. 21 Sep 2014
By Petra
Format:Paperback
It really gives you an overview of the formation of the UK over the last two millennium. It IS about the monarchs, but only as a vehicle for you to learn about the country as a whole. I would not want to be without this book on my shelf. (It was hard to get it back from a friend until he bought his own copy!) When you are not reading it cover to cover, it is an invaluable dip-in reference book. I am excited to now have the excuse to buy more Starkey books under the pretext of my son's A-level history studies - if they half as good as this book, I am in for a treat!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Bibliography 29 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover
In my view this is a well written and page-turning book, interesting and apparently factual. However there is a lack of any form of bibliography - one must take on trust Starkey's writings. I think this is quite poor for such a worthy subject.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
The man is a commanding story-teller
Published 1 month ago by Brian O'Neill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book, arrived early, very pleased
Published 2 months ago by sue
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting if a little dry at times.
A bit wordy at times and perhaps a little too political also, but interesting and informative none the less. I never knew how much I didn't know about the monarchy!
Published 5 months ago by misslizzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Firstly, this is -as one would expect, wonderfully well written - clear and engaging. It might be thought that there is little new to be said about the Monarchy, but David Starkey... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. J. Vallis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is the most straightforward book of English history about the monarchy. David Starkey has a very easy writing style that does not make it complicated. Read more
Published 6 months ago by chech
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully detailed and a must for all those interested in British...
From the dawn on England through the glory of the British Empire to nowadays, this books tells you everything you want to know about British history, and it does so in a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Stefania Ceccarelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
This has become my favourite history book. David Starkey has just a way of narrating that is exquisite and I never tire of reading him. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ludivine Vallano
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable narrative of links from the past to the present
This single volume history covers the defining events in England since Roman times. As expected this is history told through the stories of the kings and queens of each era, and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by markr
1.0 out of 5 stars Review
Love the historical detail unfortunately the book looses its value as the author forgets his undoubted skill as a historian and thinks he's a politician. Read more
Published 12 months ago by steve wakelin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
A lively, entertaining and and insightful look at Britain's monarchy through the ages. A brilliantly (or brutally? Read more
Published 13 months ago by Tempus Fugit
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