From the reign of Alfred the Great - the first king of Wessex to call himself 'king of England' - in the 9th century, to the shock of Norman invasion in the 11th, and from the brutal vicissitudes of late medieval kingship to the comfortable ceremonial of modern-day constitutional monarchy, the story of England's kings and queens is to a large degree that of England herself. Kings and Queens of England offers readable profiles of 59 English monarchs from Harold II to Henry VIII, and from Ethelred the Unready to Elizabeth II. Each monarch is elegantly profiled and the impact of their rule on wider English history clearly and concisely described and analysed. For every king and queen there is a detailed timeline, and the narrative is further amplified by display quotations, feature boxes, panels of key biographical facts, and - last but t least - by 135 lavish full-colour images. Ian Crofton recounts a 1000-year tale of murder, invasion, usurpation, adultery, divorce, civil war and revolution in a manner that is as entertaining as it is informative. The Kings and Queens of England is the perfect choice for anyone looking for an illustrated account of the English monarchy from the Anglo-Saxon era to the present.
A former editor-in-chief of The Guinness Encyclopedia, Ian Crofton's authorial credits include Brewer's Britain and Ireland (2005) and the forthcoming 2nd edition of Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable (with John Ayto). He lives in North London with his family.