|Title:||The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes by Edited by Elizabeth Longford|
|Author:||Edited by Elizabeth Longford|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Number of Pages:||571|
This book is full of stories written and reported about the kings and queens of England from Boedicca to Elizabeth II. Royal anecdotes differ in one important respect from anecdotes on other subjects: they are part of an immense narrative history in which one monarch is descended from another and family relationships over many decades forge links that cannot be ignored. The author has taken advantage of this feature to create a collection of anecdotes that becomes a complex of royal genealogy, introduces and describes new characters, and comments on the anecdotes. Sources range from the earliest medieval chroniclers to present-day biographers and historians, from dispassionate descriptions to intimate and revealing accounts in journals and letters by the monarchs themselves. All the familiar and well loved tales are here - Alfred and the cakes, Cnut and waves, Charles II hiding in an oak tree - as well as many less familiar stories to surprise. For anyone who remembers having to learn the dates of the kings and queens of England by rote, this book should come as a revelation. These pages are full of murders and martyrdoms, revolutions and bloody battles - chronicled at first-hand by victim, perpetrator, and eye-witness alike. Scholars and versifiers, law-givers and saints crowd the scene alongside soldiers, scallywags, and imbeciles - and rarely have these distant figures been brought more vividly to life than in the course of this anthology.
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