Customer Reviews


48 Reviews
5 star:
 (29)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Royal Portraits
Antonia Fraser's 'The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England' has long been one of my favourite books (since my childhood, really), because it has both breadth and brevity simultaneously, a rare feat. Lady Fraser's style is evident here, a non-imposing and non-technical style, that is nonetheless satisfying to all but the most rigourous of academic historians...
Published on July 9, 2003 by FrKurt Messick

versus
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Handy Dandy Guide to England's Rulers
This big picture book of kings and queens is a great reference work for anyone interested in English royal history. The color illustrations are lavish, the brief biographies hit all high points and the geneologies of the various royal houses are very useful when trying to trace the convoluted relationships of England's royals. This is a handy book to have around when...
Published on February 19, 2000 by P A Brown


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Royal Portraits, July 9, 2003
This review is from: The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Revised and Updated (Paperback)
Antonia Fraser's 'The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England' has long been one of my favourite books (since my childhood, really), because it has both breadth and brevity simultaneously, a rare feat. Lady Fraser's style is evident here, a non-imposing and non-technical style, that is nonetheless satisfying to all but the most rigourous of academic historians.
Fraser's account begins with the Norman invasion; like many books on royal history, scant attention is paid to pre-Norman figures. Fraser groups the monarchs into categories:
Normans
Angevins
Plantagenets
House of Lancaster
House of York
Tudors
Stuarts
House of Hanover
House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
House of Windsor
Putting together the genealogical tables is a fun exercise--beware here, however, that lesser historical figures are left off the charts (thus, Queen Anne's bevy of children are not represented on the genealogy as none lived to assume the crown or perpetuate the line). Each monarch is given an article about 10-15 pages in length (a good bedtime reading length, I've found). Pictures and paintings help place visually the stories, together with the interspersed essays on coats-of-arms and other topics.
Fraser likes to find the humourous aspects whenever possible. Writing on William IV's distaste for the young Victoria's mother:' 'In 1836 the Duchess of Kent took over a large suite of rooms in Kensington Palace without the King's permission. William was furious. If he died now, Victoria would not be old enough to rule without her mother as Regent. At a public dinner, attended by more than a hundred guests, William said that he hoped his life would be spared long enough to prevent such a calamity.'
His wish was granted.
An ideal gift for anyone, child to adult, who has an interest in the history of the British royals, and a good ready-reference for students, this book is first-rate.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic overview of the history of the English Monarchy., July 22, 1999
By 
For anyone who has even a passing interest in the English monarchs (what's the difference between Bloody Mary and Mary, Queen of Scots?) this is the perfect book. Within four to eight pages, depending on the subject, Antonia Fraser gives a wonderful summary of every monarch since Normand time, right up to Elizabeth II. I used this book not only to clarify which Edward or Mary was which, but also to give me teasers about important events in English history. From this I read two books by another great English historiographer, Alison Weir, "The Wars of the Roses" and "The Princes in the Tower." I even used Fraser's book to guide me as I watched "Mrs. Brown" on video! Fraser manages to take these fascinating people and put them in the context of their time, without romantic presupposition or fake dialogue. Fraser delivers documented facts or opinions and still manages to give her work an interesting and engaging voice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Handy Dandy Guide to England's Rulers, February 19, 2000
By 
P A Brown (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This big picture book of kings and queens is a great reference work for anyone interested in English royal history. The color illustrations are lavish, the brief biographies hit all high points and the geneologies of the various royal houses are very useful when trying to trace the convoluted relationships of England's royals. This is a handy book to have around when you just can't figure out just how Germans ended up on the British throne, can't remember which of Henry VIII's wives died on the block or want to know why Queen Victoria died in the arms of Kaiser Wilhem. Lots of information on all matters royal, including ancient traditions, heraldry, issues of precedent, the crown jewels, court dress, palaces and passtimes and other fun facts. A good book to have close to hand.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is an excellent reference on the British monarchy, August 5, 1999
Antonia Fraser's book "The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England" provides an excellent history of the British monarchy. Highlights of the book include its balance of brevity with a comprehensive scope, it photographs, and especially its genealogical charts. The book's only flaw is that it does not begin in 827 with King Egbert, but in 1066 with William the Conqueror beginning the rule of the Norman kings.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource, September 1, 2003
By 
Lesley West (St James, Western Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Antonia Fraser does a great job here, outlining the lives and adventures of the Kings and Queens of England, from the time of the Norman conquest. And of course its not just a history of England that we are reading here, from time to time it was also a history of the known world - there were times when if England didn't own another country, they were coveting it, or were in some conflict with it. And what fascinating people these royal people were. They were of their times, they were shaped by the times, they were defeated by their times, and in being so helped shape the world that we see today. They were competent, insane, brilliant, loyal, lecherous and obsessive. This is a history of mankind - only far more visible!
Antonia Fraser is one of the finest historical writers today. In this book she does not have the space or time to delve into the nitty gritty of the reigns of each monarch, but she does give a fascinating and insightful snap shot of their times. This is a valuable reference book for any half serious library, as it deals not only with the people, but the times tthat they lived in.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice overview, May 22, 2005
By 
Maureen Jacobs (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Revised and Updated (Paperback)
This is book gives a brief but useful history of every English monarch over the past millenium. I knew very little about the monarchy before reading the book, and this was a perfect introduction. This book would also probably be helpful for those who want a refresher in their history or for those who are just trying to keep all of the Henrys, Georges, and Edwards straight.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview, October 11, 2005
Lady Antonia, daughter of the late Earl of Longford, is one of the best known popular historians working in Britain today. Though not an academic, she has developed a reputation for impartial, well considered, very well written prose. Here she oversees the contributions of a number of well-regarded historians, including John Gillingham, Neville Williams, Maurice Ashley, and John Clarke, each covering the dynasty in which they are expert. While this volume is primarily a collective royal biography, and therefore largely outside the scope of this bibliography, Fraser (presumably) has seen to it that the separate chapters emphasize the continuity of the Crown, even during periods of violent dynastic change. J. P. Brooke-Little, the Richmond Herald, also contributes occasional pages regarding the development of heraldry as displayed by England's monarchs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History Thru Biography, December 13, 1998
By 
Until I read this book, the history of England and her monarchs was clouded in confusion. No longer! A beautiful book, full of color and informative graphics, "Lives" packs much information in one volume. Antonia Frazier has done a wonderful job editing the work of many authors. "Lives" draws the reader into the life and times of kings, queens, bas***ds, pretenders, earls, dukes and mistresses. The role and evolution of Parliment is explored, as well as brief outlines of the world at large in order to maintain historical perspective. Often the authors attempt to correct what they feel were previous historical inaccuracies and judge the reigns of each monarch. From the Norman conquest in 1066 to the present, the history of this great country (and Empire) is one we need to better understand because of England's great influence on not only the US, but the world. I can't wait to read the updated 1998 edition, which I just thumbed through at a local retailer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, December 26, 1998
By A Customer
Great for both the student of the subject as well as the mild enthusiast. Simple to follow and understand. Comes complete with helpful lineage/geneology charts of the different dynasties. Beautiful pictures and interesting story-type verse. I wouldn't be caught dead without a copy close at hand! It helps me look up quick facts as well as learn more of the cultures of the different eras. I couldn't have survived four years of college without it!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Overview Of The Monarchs Of England!, February 20, 2003
This review is from: The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Revised and Updated (Paperback)
If you are not aware of whom the Kings and Queens of England are, or if you are a novice in understanding who these colorful individuals are this is a wonderful book to introduce you to them. This book covers all of them from the beginning (Norman Rule) to present day, and even takes a look at the future of the monarchy. Short biographies on each monarch as well as color photos help put a face and personality to each monarch.
Don't expect this book to offer a detail explanation and action of each monarch since that would require the book to be way to extensive. This is a brief intoduction to each and a wonderful first look. This book is great for either pleasure reading, or reference material.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Revised and Updated
The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Revised and Updated by Antonia Fraser (Paperback - February 15, 2000)
$39.95 $28.02
Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.