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on 17 August 2015
There's plenty of material to make a fascinating narrative in English history, and this book mainly tells it well. There are a few areas that Starkey has glossed over, notably Henry VIII's later wives, and a few areas where his own opinion intrudes. I enjoyed this, but would have to say that I preferred Simon Jenkins' Short History of England (which is, in truth, no shorter, no more Anglo-centric nor less informative about the Monarchy than Crown & Country).
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on 9 March 2016
Monarchy mad mum is over the moon with this book. Will keep her busy for hours poring over all the family trees for starters!
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on 27 June 2016
bit heavy going. i stopped reading after a while
i am a Starkey fan but found this laborious
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on 6 March 2015
If we were all taught history at school by David Starkey we would all have passed. David Starkey's books make me adore history so much that I wish I could change careers and become a historian.
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on 11 June 2016
Pretty much the script for the Monarchy TV series.
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on 29 April 2017
entertaining Starkey always a good read
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on 7 April 2015
Well written and thoroughly interesting. Wish history teacher had put it over as good as this
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on 21 January 2015
The item was as very informative, I have no problem buying from this supplier again
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on 10 April 2014
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. Am still ready it but is easy to pick up and refer to at anytime.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 April 2015
This is a rapid high level account of British politics and monarchy over 2,000 years. I recommend it for people who are relatively new to the subject or who have only a passing interest. If you already have a reasonable knowledge of the subject or want a thorough treatment you may find it too insubstantial. In many places it is obvious that important details have been skipped or summarised and there are many excellent books which give much more depth. For those who like audio I recommend This Sceptred Isle, a much more comprehensive account full of quotes from primary sources.

On the positive side, Crown and Country is clear and easy to read and, whatever you think of the author's style, his judgement is first rate. I actually heard him on the Today Programme today, the very day that I happened to finish the book, insisting that his commentary on Magna Carta must be sound because he is a "great historian". I am not an expert but I suspect that this and most of the other points in his book are indeed sound.

The book comprises about 60% summary, 10% reference to sources and 30% commentary. It is this last 30% where the quality of the book shines. He gives fascinating insight, mostly in the first half of the book, into the origins of the British style of politics and the ways in which Britain's path diverged from the continent. As the book progresses the insight seems to get thinner and the feeling grows that important details are being skimmed over. I found little new or insightful in the discussion of Queen Victoria and after her the account descended into trivial (which is perhaps a reflection of the reality).

This book is a reissue of two former books combined into one and it may be worth getting just the first book which I found the most insightful.
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