Despite its reputation as the longest established in Europe, the history of the English monarchy is punctuated by scandal, murders, betrayals, plots, and treason. Since William the Conqueror seized the crown in 1066, England has seen three civil wars; six monarchs have been murdered or executed; the throne of England has been usurped four times, and won in battle three times; and personal scandals and royal family quarrels abound. Dark History: The Kings & Queens of England provides an exciting and dramatic account of English royal history from 1066 to the present day. This engrossing book explores the scandal and intrigue behind each royal dynasty, from the ‘accidental’ murder of William II in 1100, through the excesses of Richard III, Henry VIII and ‘Bloody’ Mary and the secret scandals of Victoria's family, to the conspiracies surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. Carefully researched, superbly entertaining and illustrated throughout with more than 200 colour and black-and-white photographs and artworks, this accessible and immensely enjoyable book highlights the true personalities and real lives of the individuals honoured with the crown of England – and those unfortunate enough to cross their paths.
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Dark History of the Kings and Queens of England
One cannot take seriously any book that does not cite sources, no matter what the age of the intended audience. This book repeats rumored stories as though they are fact, e.g. that Edward II was murdered with a hot poker. There is no contemporary proof, and the first mention of the story came years after the supposed death. In fact, some scholars today debate whether he was killed at all. I also take issue with tired epithets for women. Centuries ago, any woman who exercised power was dubbed a she-wolf. To use this and other antiquated and extremely sexist terms in the 21st century is offensive. The main aim of the book is to shock and sensationalize, regardless of modern scholarship, which is both lazy and irresponsible. History is interesting enough on its own. Readers deserve the truth, otherwise the book should be labeled as historical fiction. I'm only giving this book one star because the review won't post without one.