A short, lively and informative survey of the forty kings and queens of England, from the heroic to the hopeless and from William the Conqueror to the present.
There have been many popular 'stuff you learned at school'-type books, of course, but none that has dealt with the Royal Family in such a sweep and certainly none written with such élan. Gimson's Kings and Queens whirls us through the lives of our monarchs, to tell a tale of bastardy, courage, conquest, brutality, vanity, vulgarity, corruption, anarchy, absenteeism, piety, nobility, divorce, execution, civil war, madness, magnificence, profligacy, frugality, philately, abdication, dutifulness, family breakdown and family recovery.
Written in Andrew Gimson's inimitable style, this is both primer and refresher for all those people who can never quite remember which were the good and bad Edwards or Henrys, or the reasons so-and-so succeeded to the throne rather than his second cousin.
Published in September 2015, which will mark the moment when Elizabeth II will (barring accident or shock abdication) become the longest-serving English monarch, ever, Gimson's Kings and Queens will be the most entertaining and instructive book on the monarchy you will ever read.