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Kings, Queens, Bones and Bastards: Who's Who in the English Monarchy from Egbert to Elizabeth II [Paperback]

David Hilliam
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Jun 2004
Who invented the 'House of Windsor' as a royal name? Who founded Westminster Abbey? Which king had twenty-one illegitimate children? David Halliam answers all 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 or 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 consumate his marriage; of the 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 strange 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.

Frequently Bought Together

Kings, Queens, Bones and Bastards: Who's Who in the English Monarchy from Egbert to Elizabeth II + Kings & Queens: The Concise Guide
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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; New edition edition (17 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750935537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750935531
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 15.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

David Hilliam is a freelance lecturer and writer. He has also written Crown, Orb and Sceptre.

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, witty, thoroughly enjoyable 27 Oct 2000
I can't believe this book hasn't received numerous glowing reviews; it is the best put together, funniest, history reference books I've read in years. This is the book for everyone who wants a dinner-party, 'gobbet' knowledge of the monarchy and their significant others. But it is more than that: not only does it give the reader a succint overview of the different royal dynasties from Egbert onwards, but it inspires you to find out more. I found myself cross-referencing entries with other reference books, reading historical dramas and ordering books featuring my favourites. I especially loved Hilliam's description of Charles II as the monarch you would most want to be on a desert island with. That's the kind of history you remember.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Serious historians beware! 20 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This a fun, lightweight book and is an ideal introduction to the English monarchy. Serious historians should steer clear, however, as it relies heavily on anecdotes and urban myths. Richard I is just one of the kings to be labelled 'gay' without so much as a second thought. The author strikes an irreverent tone until he reaches the House of Windsor. At this point objectivity flies out of the window, to be replaced by a rather nauseating sycophancy. That said, this is an entertaining read and is probably not intended for a serious, scholarly audience.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I am a casual student of history with a particular interest in monarchs and their amusing idiosycnrasys, what a breath of fresh air this book was to read. It is so nice to get to the interesting facts without getting bogged down in a load of political or economic tedium.
What a shame a few pedants have chosen to gripe about a couple of minor errors that pale into insignificance when you look at the vast amount of research that has gone into this book.
A wonderful read, I can whole heartedly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite history book. 15 July 2009
By girlwig
I've had this book for a few years now and have not tired of it yet. I love history and this book has not failed to please me. It's a book that you can dip in and out of, choosing a monarch or consort throughout British history. Ghoulish it may seem, but the section that I found most fascinating was the one concerning the dead bodies of kings and queens. And no, I'm not usually into death! It's not a book for academics but it is very readable and highly entertaining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dubious 30 Mar 2012
I bought this at Westminster cathedral, I'm not impressed. It's lightweight and dubious. There are some glaring errors and things that historians have recognised as being open to interpetation are breezily stated as fact here. It's nugget sized history if you want it and a great idea. It's just not that well written and the author takes far to many liberties for my liking...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY IS FUN AGAIN! 12 Aug 2012
I sincerely hope the author gets to read this because I would so like to thank him for making history enjoyable again - not the way I was lectured at schOol.

This book is well written, concise and bowls along at a nice pace, holding the interest of the reader and drawing you into our royal lineage.

His easy style is a joy and for a factual chronology, it is very hard to put down!

Full of juicy, blood-curdling anecdotes, toe curling stories and some great moments of humour; if you want your kids to know the Kings and Queens, start them HERE!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening and worthy 9 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
History at school in my day, and probably yours, was not a favourite. Our teacher, Miss Winnie Fennell (RIP), whilst knowing her subject, gave but a one-dimensional view of our Kings and Queens; all but Henry VIII, of course, who was a more colourful character for his both famous and infamous eight wives.
But this book gives a more honest, and three-dimensional description of the nobility of our heritage, painting a far more realistic and down to earth picture.
They had mistresses, illegitimate offspring, suffered wind, gout, syphilis; you name it; infact, they were human, just as we are. But school history lessons did not paint such vivid and realistic pictures; we either had no picture, or a very poor sketch. But David Hilliam has a far bigger and broader brush than Miss Fennell or anyone else, and these characters breathe new and far more interesting lives than we first believed.
This book is fascinating and well worth reading; recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, interesting, informative.... love it. 13 Mar 2009
Really enjoying reading this, and will read it twice to take in all the info. Love it.

Have never been very academic, and never took an interest at school, but since getting older I am fascinated by the English Monarchy and it's history. This book is just the ticket.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it
This was a great read and very easy to follow. I would suggest to anyone that wants to get a slightly better understanding without going too much into what is a very long and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stefan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book just love it !
Fabulous book just love it !
Loaned my copy to my son's teacher and sadly not returned.
Got me another copy and a friend and buying another for a birthday gift. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs H (Dorridge)
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
As a foreigner living in U.K. ten years I am interested in it history,so I started reading historical books and novels about
the rulers of this kingdom. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Irma Jakobi
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I chose this book for brief information on who's who in the English Monarchy and it didn't disappoint. If that's all a reader wants then this is a good read.
Published 13 months ago by Joanne Burch
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting and amusing
This is quite a fun book full of lots of royal trivia which makes monarchs human. Easy to dip into.
Published 15 months ago by Carol Beckman
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
interesting and unusual facts - no waffle.

a great way to learn without being bored.

I definitely recommend this book.
Published 17 months ago by historystarter
4.0 out of 5 stars Niezła książka
Niezła książka pokazująca rodziny królewskie w Wielkiej Brytanii - królowie ich żony, dzieci i dzieci z nieprawego łoża. Polecam zainteresowanym tematyką
Published 18 months ago by pietkak
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!
This is a great read and perfect for learning about past royals without any boring bits! Highly entertaining and informative.
Published 20 months ago by Pauline Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars Como nuevo pero antiguo
El libro se encontraba en perfectas condiciones. Aunque parecía por el olor y color que ha estado almacenado desde su edición hace unos 10 años. Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2011 by Jon
5.0 out of 5 stars Lineage? What Lineage?
The title of this book really does say it all. Its a rummage through our nations cupboards from a King in a tree top to Queen on a chopping block. Read more
Published on 23 Sep 2011 by M. Taplin
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