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A Good Start
on 6 August 2007
David Starkey's Monarchy, or Monarchy by David Starkey, has been a fine series, detailing the history of the English Monarchy from the first Anglo-Saxon kings, to the present day.
This is the first of four series, the last of which, as of 6 August 2007, has not been shown. It is composed of six episodes, to the second and third series' five, which cover the Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Plantagenet periods.
1. A Nation State: The Heptarchy, Redwald, Offa, Alfred
2. Ængla Land: Ehtelred, The Vikings, Canute, Edward the Confessor
3. Conquest: The Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror, the Normans
4. Dynasty: Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John, Magna Carta
5. A United Kingdom: Edward I, II and III
6. Death of a Dynasty: Richard II, Henry IV-VI, The Wars of the Roses
David Starkey is a renowned historian, and thanks to Radio 4s 'Moral Maze' a well known public figure. He is primarily, though, and expert in the Tudor period. He has produced several series for Channel 4 on that subject, namely 'Elizabeth', 'Edward and Mary' and 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'. He has personally admitted that pre-Tudor England is not particularly familiar to him and he had to research it much more for this series. This does not affect his competence in presenting this series as it is, naturally, only a passing glance at each period. However, his lack of passion for particular topics is occasionally evident.
None the less this is still an entertaining trek, or should that be sprint, through English history and is a good starting point for a casual viewer, especially as it may lead one to investigate a particular subject further.