Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household

Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household

by Adrian Tinniswood


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An upstairs/downstairs history of the British royal court, from the Middle Ages to the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Monarchs: they're just like us. They entertain their friends and eat and worry about money. Henry VIII tripped over his dogs. George II threw his son out of the house. James I had to cut back on the alcohol bills.

In Behind the Throne, historian Adrian Tinniswood uncovers the reality of five centuries of life at the English court, taking the reader on a remarkable journey from one Queen Elizabeth to another and exploring life as it was lived by clerks and courtiers and clowns and crowned heads: the power struggles and petty rivalries, the tension between duty and desire, the practicalities of cooking dinner for thousands and of ensuring the king always won when he played a game of tennis.

A masterful and witty social history of five centuries of royal life, Behind the Throne offers a grand tour of England's grandest households.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465094028
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 133,666
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Adrian Tinniswood is senior research fellow in history at the University of Buckingham and the author of The Long Weekend and The Verneys, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. He was awarded an OBE for services to heritage by her majesty, the Queen, and lives in Bath, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Black Books and Spangles 1

1 Progress 11

2 Behind the Masque 35

3 Diplomats and Fools 61

4 A Court Without a King 75

5 We Have Called You Gods 93

6 The Catholic King 109

7 Mrs Morley and Mrs Freeman 121

8 Happy Families 141

9 An Agitation of Spirits 163

10 Regent 181

11 The Respectable Household 201

12 After Albert 227

13 Court Circular 245

14 That Dear Little Man 261

15 Secretaries 285

16 Gloriana 303

17 Affectionate Memoirs 317

Postscript: It's All to Do with the Training 341

Acknowledgments 345

Notes 347

Bibliography 365

Illustration Credits 377

Index 381

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