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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 February 2004
This book is a must for anybody studying British history both ancient or recent. The Genealogy places every major or minor royal in his or her historical place giving the student a grid reference for further study. Tremendous detail is provided and it is very easy to lose a couple of hours flicking through this book. Ms. Weir spent 22 year researching and has produced an excellent resource.
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on 8 November 2009
I've not read this book from cover to cover, but dipped in and out to help my daughter with her homework. So far it has been extremely useful and contained everything (and more!) that she needed to know. I would recommend it as a very good reference book.
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on 7 January 2001
Amazing book, for anyone interested in the family histories. Weir breaks them down by house, and it's very good reading besides containing every royal from 800 to present and all their children, grandchildren, etc. I had a copy "smuggled" to me by a friend in '96 (it's not published over here...), and now it's falling apart, it's always one of the first reference works I go to! Waiting eagerly for an update, this is still an amazing, difinitive work.
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on 13 March 2016
I think that this is an excellent book, very well written. It gives the basic information about all members of the Royal Families going back to pre Norman times. There is also some useful information given about many of the Royal Family members. This book took Alison Weir about 22 years to write, and looking at the list of reference works she has reviewed, this is not surprising. On several occasions some information has been based on what she believes is most llikely to have happened, where there is little or no firm proof. I find this very helpful as this is not generally found in other reference books I have read. It is only, I guess, through her extensive research that she has been able to come to some of her conclusions. One other author has been involved in producing a similar but more involved work over the last few years but, within a few weeks of its anticipated release date, the release was cancelled, and I have heard nothing to make me believe that it will ever be published. For anyone interested in the history of British, not just English, Royal families, I believe that Alison Weir should be hugely congratulated for finishing what must have felt like a life's work. All of this can perhaps be summarised in one word. "Brilliant".
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on 22 September 2010
I read a lot of historical fiction and often the books can have a royal cast of thousands. This book has been a great aid to sorting out who's who and who's related to who. In particular, I think I may finally understand the complexity of the relationships of the Yorks and Lancastrians! An inspired work of reference.
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on 24 August 2010
I love this book. Once I pick it up I find the time seems to fly by. It's good to have it to hand when reading any other book about the monarchs of England and Scotland. I wondered why there weren't any family trees in the book, but soon I understood why. I had tried creating some family trees to be able to understand the relationship of the kings and queens to each other more clearly but it soon became extremely complicated. This is a throughly detailed reference book for anyone with a passing interest in the history of our monarchy. I do find it a little sad though, whereas one king may have ten pages dedicated to his extended family, another king may have the poignant remark: died unmarried and childless.
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on 6 January 2013
alison weir has opened up british history in a chronological list of all the monarchs, wives and family members from alfred to elizabeth ii. it is easy to understand the relationships and the conflicts between the major players of history.
i have read the book several times in one go and also use it for dipping in and out of to explain history biographies i am reading.
i use this book as a guide to my reading list. i have started at the beginning and have bought a biography of every monarch and their spouse and other major characters. i use the book as a catalogue of my collection.
this book has been so useful on days out when someone says "so what did this king do then?" that i have bought it on kindle too.
every school kid should be given a copy of this book on their first day at high school, it would make history lessons so much easier.
i cannot recommend this book highly enough, please buy it today
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 September 2011
As far as I am aware, this is the most detailed overview of the genealogy of Britain's royal families in an affordable volume. Commencing with King Egbert of England and King Alpin of Scotland, Alison Weir traces the descent of all legitimate offspring of each monarch as well as the records allow. The ancient Welsh princes are not included, and the descent from illegitimate royal offspring is not pursued as rigorously. (Alas, for me, since I am told I am descended illegitimately from at least two medieval English monarchs).

Naturally, the records speak more as history progresses, allowing Weir to provide descents to the third or fourth degree, but the potential purchaser should be warned that this is most definitely a reference book; it is certainly not a narrative history of the monarchy in Britain.

Weir touches on possible `problems' of descent, such as the probable secret marriage by George III prior to his official one to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but I was surprised to note no mention of the possibilities of Edward IV's illegitimacy. But this is a minor quibble, for the covers of this book are already looking a bit dog-eared, so often have I delved inside for some detail of royal genealogy. And now, at least, I know where Prince Michael of Kent and the Duke of Gloucester fit into the present line of succession.

Whether historian or genealogist, republican or monarchist, this is a book that will answer innumerable questions about Britain and its rulers.
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on 10 September 2015
Not had chance to read it yet but when I have scanned through it, it looks very well presented & laid out, Alison Weir is probably one of today's greatest historical writers especially in this period of history. There is always detractors & I say to them if you can do better then give it a go. It's a very good idea for those people like myself who know history -but not the details- to get an insight into the workings of any of the royal houses of britain.
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on 16 January 2012
I have always had a great interest in medieval England, and when I decided I wanted to try and write my own historical fiction I thought I had better do a bit of in depth research. This book was nothing short of a godsend. Explicit in detail, concise in layout and considering it's essentially a reference book this tome is compellingly readable.

A great book for the beginner wanting to learn more detail or for the seasoned professional just wanting to brush up on their facts.
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