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Summary

Kings and Queens of England is an entertaining account of the larger-than-life characters that have ruled England through the ages. It follows the fascinating history of monarchs from the first Saxon kings to the Windsors of the present day. Author Nigel Cawthorne paints vivid portraits of a mixed bunch of rulers ranging from the drunken and debauched merry monarch Charles II to the idealized domesticity and colonial ambition of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

©2010 Arcturus Publishing Limited (P)2016 Arcturus Digital Limited

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Not what I expected

I have had this book on my shelf for 10 years but, being a lazy reader, thought I'd get somebody to read it to me. That turned out to be a mistake. I would question the choice of narrator who came across like an English teacher in a far flung outpost of the former empire teaching schoolkids about the history of our monarchy. It was clear that she was reading the book out loud, with often questionable pronunciation, rather than telling the great story it should've been. Not exactly her fault, as she had no choice over the material present, but it was conveyed as a dry list of facts rather than having life breathed into what ought to be a fantastic series of tales of our aristocratic dynasties. Sorry, but I wasn't really moved as I'd hoped to have been.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lucky dog
  • 20-04-17

Not My Cup of Tea

Would you try another book from Nigel Cawthorne and/or Laura Kirman?

Maybe.

What could Nigel Cawthorne have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This book was dry as dust, with SO MANY DATES, after a while my eyes glazed over. I expected more detailed and descriptive information about the kings, their families, the English countryside, customs, food, clothing, etc. during the different time periods.Of course, I did quit the book at chapter 3, so maybe the historical excitement occurred in later chapters and I just stopped listening too early...

Which scene was your favorite?

I only made it through chapter 3, then started skipping forward to see if there was anything more interesting than...'Ethelbert the Dusty (1401-1615) was succeeded by his son, Ethelred the Somewhat Belligerent (1522-1750). In 1722 Ethelred the Somewhat Belligerent sailed to Spain where he poked Queen Margarita in the eye with a stick then promptly sailed back to North Umbria where he died in 1985. His son Ethelmort the Smelly (1180 - 1823) reigned as King of North Umbria, Northeastern Southwest Wales, Mesopotamia, and Lower Evesham until his death in 1385.' Nope. It's all like that ^.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Ennui.

Any additional comments?

If you are a person who spends a lot of time discussing history with university faculty members or you need some filler for when the conversation lags at your next cocktail party - or if you're my grandad - then this may be the book you're looking for. Enjoy.Apologies to the author, I'm sure this is a very fine book and I'm just too snarky and stupid to enjoy it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful