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The Kings & Queens of England: The Biography [Hardcover]

David Loades

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Book Description

12 July 2013
This is the history of the men and women who have occupied the highest position in English, and later British society. For about a thousand years they were superior lords, the leaders of a nobility which ruled; and for about three hundred years thereafter they were sovereigns, whose servants ruled in their name. Now, with the rise of democracy, they no longer rule. The Queen is a symbol and a social leader, vastly experienced in the ways of the world, and the head of a family which strives to be useful in a modern community. The records of the monarchy vary from one period to another, and many of them are political in nature. However, it is always necessary to remember the human being behind the constitutional facade. This is an attempt to recover their identities.

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The Kings & Queens of England: The Biography + In Bed with the Tudors: The Sex Lives of a Dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I
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Praise for David Loades: Henry VIII (Amberley, 2011) 'A triumph' THE SPECTATOR; Mary Tudor: A Life (Blackwell, 1994) 'An excellent and sensitive biography' THE OBSERVER. --The Observer

About the Author

David Loades is Emeritus Professor of the University of Wales and Honorary Member of the History Faculty of the University of Oxford. He has written sixteen books on the Tudors. He lives in Burford in Oxfordshire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kings and Queen of England is a fascinating study of the rulers of Great Britain from ancient to present times. 14 Dec 2013
By C. M Mills - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
"The Kings and Queens of England" by Dr. David Loades receives five stars for its short and fact-filled chapters on each of the women and men who have served as reigning monarchs of England. Over one thousand years are covered in this fascinating book. Loades begins with the pre-Norman conquest of the sceptered isle in 1066. The book even has a chapter on the current Prince Charles who will become Charles III whenever the present Elizabeth II dies.
The book gives a short assessment of the strengths and failings of each of the rulers. The book is chiefly concerned with political and military affairs during each reign. It is best absorbed in brief readings or else the reader will be bogged down with too many names, battles and supporting players to induce boredom and overload. The book is written a somewhat dry and academic manner. The book may be read cover to cover or serve as a handy resource volume for students and general readers interested in a particular king or queen or era.
Colorful murderers, saints, tyrants and wise leaders dominate the book. Each dynasty from Angevin to Plantagenet to Tudor to Stuart to Hanoverian to Windsor is presented for scrutiny. Among the most interesting monarchs are:
William the Conqueror who invaded England in 1066 establishing the Norman dynasty.
Henry V of Shakespeare fame who won glory on the French battlefield
Henry VIII the English Nero who is the most famous English king.
Elizabeth I-The Virgin Queen and last Tudor to rule the land. During her long reign the English Empire began to expand and Shakespeare won immortality with his stage masterpieces.
George III-The Hanoverian king who lost North America during the American Revolution.
Queen Victoria who ruled over a vast empire and lived a life of moral probity.
There are many other kings and queens whose reigns and lives will prove enjoyable to readers evincing an interest in British history and the nature of power. Recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extensive and Engaging History 23 Jan 2014
By MissDaisyAnne - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for the purpose of review.

The Kings and Queens of England is an encyclopedic biography. Beginning in 925 AD with Athelstan's reign in Mercia and followed by his reign in England 927 AD; through to our current era of Elizabeth II and her family. David Loades, mentions three times in the introduction, this book is not a "political narrative." "This is not a constitutional history, but essentially a narrative of the lives of men and women, because until comparatively recent times England was a personal monarchy." The introduction in brief, shares information on the period of 500 to 927 AD. These were the years following the Roman occupation, the invading Anglo-Saxon's and Vikings. Sometime in the 500s the Anglo-Saxon's settled in England; the original inhabitants, the Briton people, moved "farther west." The Anglo-Saxon's established themselves into individual kingdoms, not a one united kingdom of England until Athelstan. Although the early historical years are written in brief summary, it is a fascinating and solid introduction.

1. I feel as if I've taken a short, but extensive coarse on British history. At no point did the information become dry and brittle. I felt intrigued, curiosity satisfied and entertained.
2. Easy to understand and grasp. Loades is a born teacher, meaning he has the talent for teaching information in such a way that a person of any education level can grasp.
3. At times I wished to hear Loades audibly speak, because the sentence structure is fluid and engaging.
4. I never felt Loades was bias in his observations of historical figures. The closing remarks on Richard III showed the "probable bias of the Tudor's," as well as Richard's "illegal act."
5. I loved the added information on personal habits and twerks of the kings and queens, for example:
King James I of England. "He was physically ungainly, untidy in his personal habits, and his court was crude, boisterous and chaotic." By sharing this information I'm given a humanity on royalty that is often unspoken.
6. During the reign of King George III, America was in rebellion against England; it was interesting to read the other side of history.
7. Reading The Kings and Queens of England, has led me to want to read more books on the following people or historical periods: Oliver Cromwell, The English Civil War, Edward I, George III, war with American colonies, Jane Grey, Prime Ministers (all of them), George V, Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.

I did not want the book to end.
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