The Kings and Queens of England by Ian CroftonAlthough I live in the United States; I wouldn’t be able to list most of the US Presidents if you paid me. Yet, ask me the monarchs of England and I could list them (in order, mind you) even while half asleep. Ian Crofton provides a similar directory in, “Kings and Queens of England: The Lives and Reigns of the Monarchs of England”.
“Kings and Queens of England” is a small, colorful, glossy-paged book which is fit for a reference shelf (albeit a thin one) or a coffee table. The structure is that of a directory or quick-reference guide while the content is exactly what it claims to be: a listing of English monarchs with brief bios (generally 2-4 pages for each).
The term ‘brief’ is not an exaggeration as the issue with “Kings and Queens of England” is that it is much too summarized and simplified. Although Crofton does mention interesting and/or menial notes and facts; nothing is detailed and therefore the reader is not left with a solid image of any of the monarchs. Basically, “Kings and Queens of England” is somewhat flat and not memorable.
On the other hand, the format is useful as a quick reference with charts depicting the monarch’s coat of arms and listing such facts as birth date, parents, children, succession date, house, death, etc; while the section contain photos, quotes, and small supplemented texts to round the bios. Worth mentioning is that the quoted paragraphs are much too small in font size and will present some trouble for those with eye problems.
An annoying factor is Crofton’s habit of mentioning Shakespeare and the playwright’s depictions of kings. Although this may be used in order to find a common ground with the average reader; it comes off as elementary and far from scholarly.
Sadly, Crofton doesn’t explore any new ground in “Kings and Queens of England” and thus those readers well-read on English royalty will be somewhat bored unless looking for a quick recap. In fact, the text is better suited for young adults versus adults (unless the adult has no previous knowledge on the subject). Crofton also states too many myths and propaganda pieces as though they are factual plus much of “Kings and Queens of England” is dated (such as the section on Richard III). Therefore, it is suggested to take the text with a grain of salt.
On a positive note, Crofton smoothly presents the transition of ultimate monarchism to the ceremonial role it holds today; helping the reader understand the modern-day impact of their role. The conclusion is solid stipulating on the future of the royal family while also offering genealogical charts.
Note: “Kings and Queens of England” focuses on the monarchs regnant versus consort.
Overall, “Kings and Queens of England” is a quick, overly simplified introduction to the monarchs of England. Dated, riding on speculation, and brief; the text sadly won’t make an impact with readers. Those familiar with the topic won’t learn anything new and therefore the book is only strongly suggested for general readers who simply want to be debriefed.
Kings & Queens of England: Episode 3: Tudors
Kings and Queens of Britain
But how do you keep track of them all, to be able to know who came first? Remember your Monarchs with this catchy song wikimedia commons images. Horrible Histories had a solution to that — a song! The lyrics even include a few interesting facts about the Monarchs. Always spoiling for a fight. Time for my mate, King Henry eight To take up this song. Henry three built the abbey Ed one hated Scots A red hot poker killed Ed two That must have hurt him lots.
After returning from exile at the court of Charlemagne in , he regained his kingdom of Wessex. Following his conquest of Mercia in , he controlled all of England south of the Humber. A year before he died aged almost 70, he defeated a combined force of Danes and Cornish at Hingston Down in Cornwall. He is buried at Winchester in Hampshire. In Aethelwulf defeated a Danish army at the battle of Oakley while his eldest son Althelstan fought and beat the Danes at sea off the coast of Kent , in what is believed to be the first naval battle. A highly religious man, Athelwulf travelled to Rome with his son Alfred to see the Pope in
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