Here is a sparkling collection of Crown jewelsfrom amusing tales that humanize their subjects to dramatic stories of martyrdoms, palace intrigues, and bloody battles. Elizabeth Longford, intimate of the royal family and biographer of Victoria and Elizabeth II, has assembled the best anecdotes ever written and reported abut the kings and queens of England, across the full range of Britain's history from the first century A.D. to the present day.
Scholars and versifiers, lawgivers and saints crowd the pages alongside soldiers, scallywags, and imbeciles, and never have these distant figures been brought more vividly to life than in this splendid anthology. We read of Alfred's burnt cakes, Cnut and the wolves, Henry VIII and his six wives, George III resigning himself to American independence, Edward VII's gambling habits, and much more. There are samplings of royal wit (as when James I said of John Donne's poetry: Dr Donne's verses are like the peace of God; they pass all understanding."), of royal modesty (as in Elizabeth II's explanation of why she wore no crown at the musician Robert Mayer's 100th birthday party: "I thought it was Sir Robert's night, not mine."), and of royal certitude (as in Victoria's comment during a dark moment of the Boer War: "Please understand that there is no one depressed this house; we are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.")
The Countess of Longford's helpful commentary clarifies the complexities of royal genealogy and adds a sharp and often humorous perspective to bygone events. Her sources range from the earliest medieval chroniclers to biographers and historians of today, from dispassionate descriptions to intimate and revealing accounts from the letters and journals of the monarchs themselves. The result is truly a historical feast fit for a king.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.79(d)|
About the Author
About the Author:
The Countess of Longford's other books include Victoria RI, The Queen Mother: A Biography, and Elizabeth R.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Oxford Book Of Royal Anecdotes edited by Elizabeth Longford Oxford University Press ©1989ISBN 0-19-214153-8 Hardback edition The Oxford Book Of Royal Anecdotes edited by Elizabeth Longford is a unique collection of letters, stories, and quotes pertaining to and by the Kings and Queens of England. The Celts and Britons start the book out with a collection of notes pertaining to Boudicca as well as the legendary King Arthur. From there the book includes each dynasty of the English Monarchy from the Saxons (560-1016), the Danes (1016-1066), the Normans (1066-1154) to The Plantagenets (1154 -1399), the Lancastrians (1399-1461), the Yorkists (1461-1485), the Tudors (1485-1603), the Stuarts (1603-1714), the Hanoverians (1714-1837) and finally the modern day dynasty of Victoria and her descendants. Also included is genealogical tables for each dynasty. I pick this book up a little used bookstore not to add to my collection of Tudor/Stuart history books I did not expect it to contain so much information. Not only did I find fascinating facts pertaining to Henry VII and Henry VIII, I found a wealth of knowledge concerning all the Monarchs of England. Some of the information included in this collection I have never seen in other resource books or biographies. Elizabeth Longford spent numerous years researching every aspect of the lives of these monarchs from notes from courtiers to letters from foreign Ambassadors. I really enjoyed the little stories that was compiled from those who surrounded the court. You see the Monarchs in a whole new light with this book. A great addition for both collectors and historians.The Oxford Book Of Royal Anecdotes edited by Elizabeth Longford is from my own personal collection.
Not only is this book an interesting read which you can open anywhere, it also serves as a good general reference for light information on the English monarachs.