The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England edited by Antonia Fraser

Alfred A. Knopf, reprint 1998--originally published 1975
The edition I read was a hardback library copy--1975 edition with a different cover than pictured above. 
384 pages, now published by University of California Press

Link for the book @ Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Lives-Queens-England-Revised-Updated/dp/0520219384/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

Beginning in 1025 with William I-- The Conqueror, (in the beginning he was called William the Bastard). The book progresses through all of the kings and queens of England up till the current monarch Elizabeth II.
Each monarch is given 2-4 pages in average for the history on them. With such a mammoth of information it did not stop me from progressing quickly through the book.
I will choose a couple of my favorite monarchs to review on:
William I--The Conqueror sounds much nicer than what he was originally called. He was a great knight, he was intelligent and shrewd, he had a faithful marriage to Matilda (only 4' 2"), they had nine children.
He lived in Normandy most of his reign.
Elizabeth Woodville a widow of a Lancastrian knight with two sons, refused to have sex with Edward IV until he married her. She was calculating and after the marriage brought "all" of her family with her.
Richard III was a thorn not only in Elizabeth Woodville's flesh; but he was a man with many enemies.
Later Elizabeth's own daughter married Henry Tudor.
Then came the War of the Roses, Henry Tudor became Henry VII. 
James I of England also James IV of Scotland. He was the only child of Mary Queen of Scots that Elizabeth I had condemned and beheaded. After Elizabeth I death, James was the heir of both England and Scotland.
James to me was a conflicting and troubled man. He was indifferent to religion yet he had the King James Bible written. He had contempt for women, yet he did his duty by siring six children.
I wonder how much of his character and life choices were the result of the complete loss of his mother.
It is difficult to imagine letting someone else nurse and raise my children; but this was common with royalty. A child would only see their parent on brief occasions and with formality. I believe that Victoria would be the first monarch to have her children close to her.
I thought this was a grand book, huge undertaking to write on all of the monarchs through William I until Elizabeth II. I felt that I gained much insight--sometimes in the vividness in their manic lives.

This book was borrowed from the library for reading/reviewing.

Blissful Reading!
Annette

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