Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kings & Queens of England & Scotland by Plantagenet Somerset Fry

Kings & Queens of England and Scotland by Plantagenet Somerset Fry
ISBN: 978-1-4351-1394-7
Pages: 94
Inside Flap Description:

In a long and tangled history of the British Isles, one thread runs continuously for nearly 1200 years: in almost unbroken descent from Ecgberht, the first Saxon King of England in 829 to Charles, Prince of Wales the monarchy has been present at almost every stage, moulding events and making news.

Kings and Queens is the essential guide to the kinds and queens of England and Scotland, their families, courtiers and friends.

The parallel history of the Scottish monarchy - from Kenneth MacAlpin in 843 to James VI in 1603 - is described in detail, while events in Wales and Ireland are also featured. Chronology boxes reveal the major events of earch monarch's reign, and at-a-glance family trees show the line of succesion to the throne over the centuries.

My Rating: A

This was a fun read for those times when you don't have more than a few minutes, but want to feel your nose in a book. I often read it while at my desk at work during slow times. There were times when I would get caught up in the succesion and didn't want to put the book down.

This book is more of an outline of the monarchy. A quick reference. I love books that teach you, but also give you that craving to learn more! I started a list of questions that this book didn't answer for me, but caused:

1. What is the Treaty of Wedmore and why did it divide England into two parts, but leave Alfred as overlord of both?

2. What exactly is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle?

3. Henry IV contracted a 'leprosy-like' illness. Do 'we' know what it is? If so, what is it???

4. I want to learn more about Henry V, I was intrigued by the book's mention of him being 'merciful to his enemies'.

5. Henry VI's wife, Margaret sounds super kick ass! This lady did some nifty stuff and I want to know if there are any non-fiction or historical fiction about her.

The book is set up with timelines, family trees and pictures, with birth dates, crown dates, death dates, wives, children, and all the bio information right there and handy.

For all of my non-fiction, or monarchy lover friends out there, I highly recommend adding this to your collection!


  1. I saw this on your video blog and it looks so pretty! If you want another book on our crazy-a*s kings and queens that gives you a decent amount of detail while also managing to be hilarious, 'An Utterly Impartial History of Britain...' by John O'Farrell is fantastic! I've but an untold number of copies for my friends!

  2. Lit - First, THANKS! For watching the video blog.

    Second, I'm off to PBS to add it to my wishlist, but this sounds like one I'll have to buy outright. Thanks again!

  3. For the Chronicles I'd start looking at or I would suspect there is a book of it as well, in translated form. Not sure if it'll be the same riveting read (no, not read it, but I'm interested in Anglo Saxon items from a different perspective, shall we say ;-).

  4. Grey, first, thanks so much for reading, and second I will be looking at that right now! Thanks dear!

  5. This is right up my alley, I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Great review ;)


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