Monarchy: England and Her Rulers from the Tudors to the Windsors
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Monarchy: England and Her Rulers from the Tudors to the Windsors

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  400 ratings  ·  29 reviews
David Starkey' s magisterial new book Monarchy charts the rise of the British crown from the insurgency of the War of the Roses, through the glory and dangers of the Tudors, to the insolvency of the Stuarts and chaos of the English Civil War, the execution of Charles I, the rule of a commoner who was 'king in all but name', the importing of a German dynasty, and the coming...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 3rd 2000)
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Written as a TV tie-in this is a light, old-fashioned Kings, Queens and eighteenth-century Prime Ministers account of almost entirely English history that has nothing more than that to recommend itself.

It is a bad sign from the first when the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex is described as a "participatory society" with "mutual responsibility between crown and people". Starkey is a Tudor specialist with no particular expertise either before or after that period, but even so it was a surprise to re...more
Mar 24, 2012 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robespierre and the Emperor Bokassa
David Starkey used to drive me insane on 'The Moral Maze', an ethics programme on radio 4. He had to be the rudest and most viscious tongued brat that bestrode the airwaves like a poisonous colossus or maybe that was colonoscopy; either way he was not my favourite person but in this book he manages to endear himself to me by a windwhistle but fascinating tour though the 500 or so years of Monarchy from Henry VII's accession in 1485 to Prince Charles' marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2006.

Three stars only because there is no citation or biblography. Honestly David Starkey, I expected better from you.

That said, this book is very readable. The prose is compelling and not dry at all. Starkey writes like he talks, but since this a book, I am spared his facial expressions that drive me nuts when I watch him. I swear, he is always looking down his nose at me. I guess my only quibble is that sometimes Starkey seems not to like women very much. Some of his comments are very catty -Queen...more
Michael William West
Unlike most people I quite enjoy David Starkey's ability to offend virtually anyone he meets, especially teenage columnists from the New Statesman who perpetually stalk the media, knives bared, ready to combat anyone who didn't vote Green. But reading this, for me a rare foray (or folly) into popular history, was a mistake. I suppose his target audience is one that reads under duress, but all the same it reads as though it were written by a 15 year old, not for one. Swamps of adverbs rise up eve...more
Steph Burton
I registered a book at!

I remember reading Monarchy when it first was published and it is cram packed with information. However, there is so much that this second reading seven years later felt like a new book! I like David Starkey's writing style which is often drily humorous. Having recently also read his book solely about Elizabeth I, much of the early section was familiar. However, he gives plenty of space to the shorter reigned mon...more
I'm going to preface this with a little note about David Starkey. He seems like a horrible human being. His politics is absurd and anytime he appears in public he's an embarrassment to himself, to the UK and to the profession. Saying that, he's well-read, erudite and can narrate a History as well as (or better than) anyone of his generation. There's no need to like him in order to appreciate the way he relates History. His interpretation is sometimes coloured by his politics but, for the most pa...more
First off, this was an audio book, which precludes my usual rant about sources and the importance of citations.

That said.


Dr. Galgano would be proud.

Back to the book. When I realized it was read by the author, I did worry a bit. David Starkey comes across vocally as a pompous asshat. Now, admittedly that might be because he's british...but...he does come off rather snottily though at times. So when I heard his voice come through my lime green headphones...I shook a bit (I love elips...more
This book is very interesting and also very easy to read. It gives a brief account of all monarchs and their period from the time of Henry VII up to the present day. This period is also covered in Starkey's documentary bearing the same title.
Perhaps I would have appreciated footnotes and references, but that would have defeated the purpose of the story-telling aspect of the book. The first few pages outline the monarchy family tree(s), and it is very well explained. I did find myself referring t...more
Opening Sentence: “…In late 1487, King Henry VII had much to celebrate…”

David Starkey gives a brief run down of all the rulers of England starting with King Henry VII and finishing with Queen Victoria. He concentrates more on the political manouvering that went on before each King, Queen and Lord Protector was in a position to rule. having a parent who was ruler was no guarantee that you would be next in line – marriages and religion also played an important part.

David Starkey is an eminent hist...more
Helene Harrison
ISBN? - 9780007247509

General Subject/s? - History / Monarchy / Politics

Title? - It covers the development of the British monarchy from the Middle Ages to Modernity.

General Analysis? - This book doesn't just cover the kings and queens, but the development of the monarchy from the Middle Ages to the current time. Development of something over time isn't discussed enough, as historians seem to focus on just one period of time, or one person.

Recommend? - Yes, one of the best I've read on the monarch...more
I have the DVD set and the book is word for word the same (or the dvd is word for word the same as the book) so I didn't learn anything new.
I find his books easier reading than some others on the subject of the English monarchy but as I had already seen the series it took me ages to read through this.
An easily readable and very interesting journey through the institution of the English monarchy, covering the lives and impacts of individual monarchs whilst exploring the way the power and meaning of the institution has changed throughout history. It focuses primarily on rulers such as Henry the 8th, Elizabeth I and (there is only a brief mention of Diana and the current royal family) Queen Victoria.

Whilst the book itself was fascinating, let me say:
WHY WHY WHY do they all have to have the sam...more
Nicky Lewis
I always highly rate authors who are able to take an interesting but deeply factual and, on the face of it, cold subject, and make it engaging.

I was aware of some of England's history before reading this book but only from what I was taught in school which is obviously very limited and one sided. This book really helped to broaden my understanding of how the governance of England, as I know it today, was formed.

Apart from the monarchy, the two main themes running throughout the book are how pa...more
Ray Hall
This is David Starkey's brief account of the Kings and Queens of England from the Tudors to the present day.I enjoyed-reading this book about History and found there is quite a lot that I do not know.I found the book easy to read and informative,a good read with plenty of interesting characters and personalities.
A very interesting survey of royal politics stemming from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II. I learned a fair bit from this, since I haven't read much about the Stuarts, Cromwell, and the Hanoverians before this. It was especially enlightening to gain some insight on the events that led to the execution of Charles I, not to mention how the monarchy had to continually evolve in order to survive in an ever-changing world.
An interesting overview of the period it covers. Often the perspective is slightly different from what we have come to expect from historians. Also, told as a story rather than a dry book of fact which makes it more entertaining. I have the audible version which is read by the author. To begin with I found his overblown cut glass accent a little annoying, but I got used to it and enjoyed the book very much.
As far as history goes I found David Starkey to be very readable and accessible - this is great for an overview of the institution of the Monarchy, it doesn't delve too deep but remains informative and interesting throughout.
Ashley Farrell
No footnotes or a bibliography, Mr. Starkey? I think my history professors would have lost their minds if I tried to hand something in without references.

That being said, it's an easy and accessible read about the British monarchy from the Tudors to the Windsors. 3 stars.
Lucy Murphy

So easy to read, anyone who has a passing interest in the stories and scandals of past British monarchs will enjoy this. It should not be used as a reference book, as there are no citations, however it tells a great (and allegedly true!) story.
Susanna Newsholme
This book gives a really good overview of the monarchy from the War of the Roses to the present day. It is a bit brief as you can imagine but provides you with an oversight of those monarchs whom you may want to find out more about.
₵oincidental   Ðandy
David Starkey's books are always enjoyable; no one knows the history of the British monarchy more intimately or quite as well as Mr. Starkey does. Excellent work, as always.
Taylor Kniphfer
A great book. But if you've watched the television program, do not buy it. It is almost exactly word for word what Starkey says on television.
I enjoyed this a lot - he's going for a slightly different perspective to most history books which helps keep it interesting
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I thought this history of the British monarchy was just okay. There really wasn't enough detail for me.
A little dry but very informative and a great overview of the steamy lives of British monarchy!
Geanine Teramani- cruz
I hate to say this but Starkey should just stick with what he knows best, The Tudors.
Lightly written history of the English monarchy of the past 500 years.
Victoria Colston

Writing style couldn't hold my interest
great for the novice anglophile
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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 Crown and Country: A History of England Through the Monarchy Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics

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