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  • Crown & Sceptre

  • A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II
  • By: Tracy Borman
  • Narrated by: Tracy Borman
  • Length: 20 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (142 ratings)

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Crown & Sceptre

By: Tracy Borman
Narrated by: Tracy Borman
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Publisher's summary

The author of The Private Lives of the Tudors illuminates the almost thousand-year history of the British monarchy.

Since William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy, crossed the English Channel in 1066 to defeat King Harold II and unite England’s various kingdoms, 41 kings and queens have sat on Britain’s throne. “Shining examples of royal power and majesty alongside a rogue’s gallery of weak, lazy, or evil monarchs,” as Tracy Borman describes them in her sparkling chronicle, Crown & Sceptre. Ironically, during very few of these 955 years has the throne’s occupant been unambiguously English - whether Norman French, the Welsh-born Tudors, the Scottish Stuarts, and the Hanoverians and their German successors to the present day.

Acknowledging the intrinsic fascination with British royalty, Borman lifts the veil to reveal the remarkable characters and personalities who have ruled and, since the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, more ceremonially reigned. It is a crucial distinction explaining the staying power of the monarchy as the royal family has evolved and adapted to the needs and opinions of its people, avoiding the storms of rebellion that brought many of Europe’s royals to an abrupt end. Richard II; Henry VIII; Elizabeth I; George III; Victoria; Elizabeth II: their names evoke eras and the dramatic events Borman recounts. She is equally attuned to the fabric of monarchy: royal palaces; the way monarchs have been portrayed in art, on coins, in the media; the ceremony and pageantry surrounding the crown.

Elizabeth II is already one of the longest reigning monarchs in history. Crown & Sceptre is a fitting tribute to her remarkable longevity and that of the magnificent institution she represents.

©2021 Tracy Borman (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd