6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Slant on British History,
This review is from: Monarchy: From the Middle Ages to Modernity (Hardcover)
Being of a confirmed republican slant, this doesn't seem like the best history book for me. I did see some of the Channel 4 programme that this is based on, which was enough to whet my appetite.
However, David Starkey writes clearly and intelligently on how Britain (mostly England let's be honest) has been shaped by monarchy and in turn shaped their Kings and Queens. It moves at a fair clip and is very readable. This book runs form Henry VII to Victoria with a short chapter on the 20th century.
I think he documents the difficulty of balancing the monarch's power with the subjects and the vacillation between monarch, nobles and later parliament and the volatile mix that religion brought into this.
It's also interesting to speculate, for example, would England still be a Catholic nation if Catherine of Aragon bore a surviving son? Henry VIII was almost completely opportunistic and heedless of the consequences , and his legacy was religious schism which essentially lasted until the civil war.
Well worth a read.