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Crown and Country: The Kings and Queens of England: A History
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Crown and Country: The Kings and Queens of England: A History

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From one of our finest historians comes an outstanding exploration of the British monarchy from the retreat of the Romans up until the modern day. With a new chapter on Royal Weddings - this is essential reading for those who want to understand more about how monarchy has shaped the British nation.


The monarchy is one of Britain’s most venerable and revered institutions – b
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Paperback, 488 pages
Published March 31st 2011 by HarperPress (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 681)
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Emily Organ
I think you have to be interested in the topic to get through this book, it's quite long. But then it would be as it covers around 2,000 years of English history up to the modern day. It's an informative guide to each of the monarchs of England (and the Anglo Saxon kings before England officially existed). I really like David Starkey's impeccable writing style, it's not too dry and there's some caustic wit thrown in here and there. Each monarch can only be covered briefly because of the scope of ...more
Russell Olson
Probably going to echo a lot of the comments on this thread, but here goes:

Molar: Good overview written in a clear and strongly narrative fasion.

Molecular: Sometimes seemed over-simplistic in the handling of some of the people and periods. At other times (I'm thinking mainly the span of James I to James II) we are given loads of detail and the chronology becomes less than linear.

Overall: Great overview for someone like me (American ex-pat living in the UK) who is planning to learn more about th
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Simsian
An interesting survey, though lacking in many of the ways that survey histories and anthologies often are. In the earliest years of the monarchy, up through perhaps the 14th or 15th century, the brevity with which the topic is treated comes off without many problems as much there is less conjecture and more uncertainly about the time due to far fewer literature observers. It's just a bit easier to condense those times.

With Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the burden of try to save space in a history
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Glenn Horne
The actual title of the book I read was: "Crown and Country: The Kings and Queens of England." At the moment, I've this stupid advertisement on my page, which I can't close. It's preventing me from seeing what I'm typing. Anyway, I thought the book excellent.
James
As concise and potted a history as you could ask for. I was both informed and entertained when read Starkey's book. Now If only someone would write about Irish history in a similar fashion...
Jo Butler
Just imagine that breathtaking moment when you become the ruler of Great Britain. Your father or brother dies, or perhaps you sailed across the Strait of Dover to slay the previous king. You are now in charge of everything. Armies move at your command, people die at your whim. Nobody can tell you what to do either – unless you overreach and lose your head.

Any man or woman who may one day wear the crown must dream, “What shall I do when I am king?” David Starkey’s nonfiction Crown & Country,
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Caroline
I have to confess to being a little bit disappointed with this, although I suspect that probably comes from having more than the usual familiarity with the history of the British monarchy. As a primer or an introduction to the subject, I have no doubt it would be very good. But I found it a little too lacking in depth. Its scope is admirable, and I was pleased for once to find a book that traces the history of the monarchy beyond 1066 and William the Conqueror. But the flipside of tracing such a ...more
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
A conservative, traditionalist view of British monarchy that has its moments, but is disappointing overall I thought. Starkey's writing style is very televisual, full of the hyperbole of sentences beginning with 'And' and 'But'. Good for the punchy cut-away or scene-change in a historical documentary, but anathema to the flow of sound prose. There are also a number of glaring factual errors in the family trees at the front, and in the text itself.

Personally I most enjoyed and appreciated the se
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Brittany Cormier
So far I'm not terribly impressed but I am also aware of my own biases. The first section is entirely dedicated to the origins of an English monarchy and I am only now reaching the "Edwards". It was terribly boring for me up until hitting the monarchy involved in the crusades because of my knowledge of the legend of Robin Hood. Other than that the first section was really dull. But again, I am biased because I only really like Henry VIII up until the passing of Elizabeth I. Though I have recentl ...more
Marsha
Interesting but a bit spacey.

You get the sense while reading the book that he was only giving random facts instead of the whole story. I wish there was a little more than just facts but it decent overall.
Chris Morris
Enjoyable and informative. I rarely read this type of book, so I can't compare it to much, but I like Starkey's writing style, dishing the facts but in a slightly more conversational manner.
As a non-British person, I found that I had to look up things like Watling Street. I was also suprised (and maybe I shouldn't of been, by the title) of the lack of discussion of things outside England itself. Little mention of Ireland/Northern Ireland. Australia and New Zealand aren't mentioned at all ... su
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Toni
A wonderful journey of 2000 years of British history. A must read for any history buff. David Starkey has a wonderful, entertaining, accessible style of writing to bring history to everyone! It was an epic read of 500 pages but to read from the Dark Ages through to present day was fantastic and whilst I know certain periods of English history better than others, eg. Tudor period, War of the Roses, this book filled in the gaps and now there are other monarchies I MUST read about. I can’t recommen ...more
Laura
It was a great read and I highly recommend it to those who want to delve into the English monarchy. However, those who have some background in the subject may find it a bit simplistic and hurried. I especially found it rushed once the book reached the 18th century, but again, I'm aware it's only one book on quite an extensive subject. Still, it was an easy and interesting read.
Rebecca
I'm a huge David Starkey fan but I was a bit disappointed in this book. He basically completely ignores Athelstan, a grandson of Alfred the Great. Another point that bothered me was that if you have viewed the documentary series , Monarchy you basically have read the book. I am a huge fan of Dr. Starkey and I was hoping to learn more about the monarchy. I still enjoyed the book but I cannot give the book a five star review.
David Anderson
A somewhat whirlwind account of the English monarchy. Fascinating as it is, if you have read even a little in to any of the Monarchy independently you might feel as though a lot of the detail is glossed over, which is somewhat understandable otherwise the book would be a tad on the thick side! If you know nothing of the monarchy however this is definitely the book to get you up to speed!
imngrer
If you want a quick and easy sprint through the English/British monarchy, then this is the book for you. If you want to know a little more, particularly regarding the politics or social and enconomic background, then give it a miss. It's just a light read for a tube journey but not for anyone who has more than an inkling of English history.
Stephanie
For any History addict it's a must!
Written with all the usual outspoken honesty that this man has!
A wonderful journey through the Marital business of the Kings and Queens of England as well as a frank look at how we arrived at the Monarchy we know and love!
A superb read!
Fleeta
Finally, a well versed explanation of the changes that Thomas a Becket went through. I had always wondered what really happened there with his relationship with Henry II. Well detailed and analyzed. Another enjoyable history of Britain.
Raymond
A very good overview. Not exhaustive by any means, but at 500 or so pages, it couldn't be. An enjoyable and informative read nonetheless, whetting the appetite for further research into select periods and personages.
Keith Jones
I found the first part to be a bit of a slog, but it really picked up once the book settled down a bit and really started to dig into specific monarchs and the nonsense they got up to.
Geanine Teramani- cruz
It seems Starkey did poor research in the areas he doesn't usually venture in. It was a decent overview but I expect more from him.
Tran My
Oct 04, 2013 Tran My marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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David Robert Starkey, CBE, FSA is a British historian, a television and radio presenter, and a specialist in the Tudor period.
More about David Starkey...
Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII Henry: Virtuous Prince Monarchy: England and Her Rulers from the Tudors to the Windsors Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics

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