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Book Title: Kings and Queens of England|
The author of the book: Antonia Fraser
Date of issue: 2000
ISBN 13: 9780304357239
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 969 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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Amusingly, and hardly surprisingly, this became much more conservative as it got closer to the current day. One author even goes so far as to look back longingly at the golden age of the past when people didn’t get divorced and newspapers didn’t print stories about the love lives of the royals. I guess this book knows its audience – I mean, you are probably most likely to read a book by this title if you think the monarchy is a good thing and are a conservative old fool in a nursing home (or a conservative old fool in waiting to go to a nursing home), whereas I was mostly reading it for amusing anecdotes. All the same, for every ten people cheering and waving flags there is always one like myself sniggering behind their hand and this I take as my role in writing this review.
I thought the person who wrote on the House of Windsor at the end got somewhat carried away. Not just with the nonsense that the current Queen has set up the royal family to make its way into the third millennium (can anyone really imagine England still being ruled by a King in a thousand years – what a particularly depressing thought that is), but also for the stuff about the Queen never having made a faux pas (a rather interesting observation to make about a woman who married Prince Phillip, I’d have thought). However, William or no William and whatever his thin wife is called, it is hard to see the Windsors plodding on for another thousand years. They are a particularly dim and dull-witted lot – and rather too proud in their low-brow tastes. But then again, just how could you convince someone that it would be a good idea to spend a life doing whatever it is that Charles has been doing, without them being dumb as dog's shit?
I wanted to read this to see what might be said about those Shakespearian characters from Richard II through to Richard III. I was surprised that Shakespeare seems to have kept quite well to the overall story.
I was also surprised at how many of these monarchs had their last words recorded. Often these were almost meaningless in terms of their lives, one (can’t remember which now – probably one of the Georges) died talking about the Church – not really one of his key interests while he was alive. It is even recorded that George II died on the toilet, a victim to constipation – well and the stodgy English diet, I assume - or presume.
I have read some of the longer versions of these, particularly for James I and Charles I. The longer versions are much more interesting and, obviously enough, contain much more detail. I've always found the homosexual antics of James I particularly amusing, especially given he gave his name to the ever popular version of the Bible – or is it just me who sees this as being somewhat amusingly ironic?
But this is a rogues’ gallery of people who other then through winning the lottery of birth would never have been remembered for anything of consequence. They have been, despite all advantage, remarkably consistent in their bovine intelligence.
All the same, hard to imagine a tabloid being able to eke out an existence without the constant stream of stories this particularly dysfunctional family provides.
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Read information about the authorAntonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works, including the biographies Mary, Queen of Scots (a 40th anniversary edition was published in May 2009), Cromwell: Our Chief of Men, King Charles II and The Gunpowder Plot (CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger; St Louis Literary Award). She has written five highly praised books which focus on women in history, The Weaker Vessel: Women's Lot in Seventeenth Century Britain (Wolfson Award for History, 1984), The Warrior Queens: Boadecia's Chariot, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Marie Antoinette: The Journey (Franco-British Literary Prize 2001), which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola in 2006 and most recently Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King. She was awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000. Antonia Fraser was made DBE in 2011 for her services to literature. Her most recent book is Must You Go?, celebrating her life with Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas Eve 2008. She lives in London.
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