With both authority and verve, David Starkey unmasks the personalities and achievements, the defeats and victories, that lie behind the monarchs that form the backbone of British history.
This magisterial study begins with the Tudors – five monarchs who ruled over England and Ireland until the reformation of the 1530s – and continues with the Stuarts who followed them. It includes Oliver Cromwell, a non monarch, who ruled as Lord Protector, a ‘king in all but name’, and the Georgians, a dynasty that began with the accession of George I and ended with the death of George IV. In a new, final chapter Starkey brings his study to the present day, examining the iconic role of Victoria and her controversial successors; concluding with Elizabeth II and questions of what we have gained, or indeed lost, through the monarchy, and considering the troubled status of their future.
More important than this, ‘Monarchy’ encompasses the greatest and most notorious events in our history. From the War of the Roses to the infamous Gunpowder Plot, the bloody battles of the English Civil War to the madness of King George III, the Napoleonic Era to the heyday of Empire under Victoria, and finally to our present day Queen Elizabeth II,‘Monarchy’ offers a radical reappraisal of English nationhood, culture and politics, shown through the most central institution in English life. With characteristic insight and perceptiveness, Starkey gives new life to these figures, producing an entertaining and masterful picture of the building blocks upon which the England of today is built on.
Reviews of Monarchy
‘In the hands of another historian, the results might have been dry and overly academic, but Starkey, always an engaging writer, has a gift for bringing ideas as well as individuals to life.’ The Sunday Times
‘Excellent…the really crucial events in the history of the British Monarchy since the Middle Ages are assessed with authority, wisdom and wit…This is Starkey at his fluent and entertaining best.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘This book…is vivid, lucid and engaging…his judgements delivered with quasi-Pontifical assurance are often acute…a very enjoyable book.’ Daily Telegraph
‘David Starkey tours England’s monarchical horizon with gusto.’ Sunday Times
‘Starkey brings the past to vivid life.’ Daily Express
‘Combines compelling narrative and lucid analysis to guide us with a sure hand through two centuries of domestic turmoil unparalleled in any other period of English history…nowhere is there to be found a better short summary of the Glorious Revolution of 1688…Starkey’s book will undoubtedly make him and his publishers a tidy profit.’ The Spectator