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The National Portrait Gallery History of The Kings and Queens of England by David Williamson

When I was younger I read a lot about royalty, particularly queens, such as the queens of England.  The truth is I could care less what the men were doing--probably because what they were doing was always so well documented.  I would have rather read about the women and what they were doing, but women's history isn't as well documented and maybe that is what spurs my fascination--there's still an element of mystery.  (And we all know I like to read a good mystery.)  I don't read as much about them anymore, but recently I read a couple books about the kings and queens of England.

The National Portrait Gallery's history includes full color photos of portraits of some of the kings and queens.  It details short biographies of the kings and queens of England that includes their personal lives and their reigns.  It begins with an introduction detailing the ancient tribes' kings dating from BC through the ninth century in England.  The biographies start with Alfred the Great in the mid-ninth century and end with the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.  The familial connections and lines connecting kings as the crown passes from house to house down the generations can be hard to follow at times (what family tree isn't?).

While the biographies are fascinating--most share the sordid dramas, backstabbing, serial marriages and power plays that populated the royal circles back then (probably still do today), the copy editing missed enough typos and errors to be noticeable and distracting.


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