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From medieval conqueror to Renaissance autocrat to Victorian Empress to modern melodrama, "Royal Panoply" is the story of some of the most fascinating people in world history.

With her trademark blend of probing scholarship, lively prose, and psychological insight, Carolly Erickson focuses on each monarch's entire life---from the puny, socially awkward Charles I, to the choleric, violent William the Conqueror, to the well-meaning, deeply affectionate Queen Anne, who was so heavy she had to be carried to her coronation. "Royal Panoply" recaptures the event-filled, often dangerous, always engaging lives of England's kings and queens, set against the backdrop of a thousand years of Britain's past.

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About the Author

Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of Rival to the Queen, The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots, The First Elizabeth, The Hidden Life of Josephine, The Last Wife of Henry VIII, and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel The Tsarina's Daughter won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. She lives in Hawaii.

Reviews

Erickson, author of several royal biographies, offers an entertaining history of English rulers from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II that proves why this rather old-fashioned genre is still popular. Erickson devotes about 10 pages to each monarch-as much to Queen Anne as to Queen Victoria. Each chapter stands independently: material is often repeated about transitions in reign, convenient for use as a reference but not suitable for reading cover to cover. Obviously some subtlety of interpretation is lost in this format: there's no assessment of recent research suggesting Edward II survived his assassination or analysis of the increasingly cultural role of the monarch in the early modern era. Yet patterns can be detected: kings and queens get fat, kings mentally deteriorate, heirs misbehave, illegitimate children abound. Although Erickson doesn't offer an overarching analysis, anyone who reads the entire book will see steady change in the nature of kingship and be surprised when the author presents the current reign as a break with a past in which monarchs were held in awe rather than continued evolution. But taken as they are, these accounts remain fascinating and, in the end, great stories. 16 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"From William of Normandy, who seized the English throne in 1066 and became the formidably galvanizing William I, to the remote Elizabeth II, Erickson covers centuries of British monarchy in knowledgeable . . . biographies. [A]n accessible source for readers who can't get enough of kings and queens." --Kirkus Reviews"An entertaining history of English rulers from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II that proves why this rather old-fashioned genre is still popular. Erickson devotes about ten pages to each monarch---as much to Queen Anne as to Queen Victoria . . . fascinating." --Publishers Weekly"Carolly Erickson brings [an] immediacy and easy intimacy to her study." --Los Angeles Times Book Review on To the Scaffold"Carolly Erickson tells [this story] with all the flair it deserves. . . . Exquisite writing." --Houston Chronicle on Josephine From William of Normandy, who seized the English throne in 1066 and became the formidably galvanizing William I, to the remote Elizabeth II, Erickson covers centuries of British monarchy in knowledgeable . . . biographies. [A]n accessible source for readers who can't get enough of kings and queens. "Kirkus Reviews" An entertaining history of English rulers from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II that proves why this rather old-fashioned genre is still popular. Erickson devotes about ten pages to each monarch---as much to Queen Anne as to Queen Victoria . . . fascinating. "Publishers Weekly" Carolly Erickson brings [an] immediacy and easy intimacy to her study. "Los Angeles Times Book Review on To the Scaffold" Carolly Erickson tells [this story] with all the flair it deserves. . . . Exquisite writing. "Houston Chronicle on Josephine"" "From William of Normandy, who seized the English throne in 1066 and became the formidably galvanizing William I, to the remote Elizabeth II, Erickson covers centuries of British monarchy in knowledgeable . . . biographies. [A]n accessible source for readers who can't get enough of kings and queens." ---"Kirkus Reviews""An entertaining history of English rulers from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II that proves why this rather old-fashioned genre is still popular. Erickson devotes about ten pages to each monarch---as much to Queen Anne as to Queen Victoria . . . fascinating." ---"Publishers Weekly""Carolly Erickson brings [an] immediacy and easy intimacy to her study." ---"Los Angeles"" Times Book Review "on "To the Scaffold""Carolly Erickson tells [this story] with all the flair it deserves. . . . Exquisite writing." ---"Houston"" Chronicle" on "Josephine" "From William of Normandy, who seized the English throne in 1066 and became the formidably galvanizing William I, to the remote Elizabeth II, Erickson covers centuries of British monarchy in knowledgeable . . . biographies. [A]n accessible source for readers who can't get enough of kings and queens." ---"Kirkus Reviews""An entertaining history of English rulers from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II that proves why this rather old-fashioned genre is still popular. Erickson devotes about ten pages to each monarch---as much to Queen Anne as to Queen Victoria . . . fascinating." ---"Publishers Weekly""Carolly Erickson brings [an] immediacy and easy intimacy to her study." ---"Los Angeles"" Times Book Review "on "To the Scaffold""Carolly Erickson tells [this story] with all the flair it deserves. . . . Exquisite writing." ---"Houston"" Chronicle" on "Josephine" "From William of Normandy, who seized the English throne in 1066 and became the formidably galvanizing William I, to the remote Elizabeth II, Erickson covers centuries of British monarchy in knowledgeable . . . biographies. [A]n accessible source for readers who can't get enough of kings and queens." ---"Kirkus Reviews""An entertaining history of English rulers from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II that proves why this rather old-fashioned genre is still popular. Erickson devotes about ten pages to each monarch---as much to Queen Anne as to Queen Victoria . . . fascinating." ---"Publishers Weekly""Carolly Erickson brings [an] immediacy and easy intimacy to her study." ---"Los Angeles"" Times Book Review "on "To the Scaffold""Carolly Erickson tells [this story] with all the flair it deserves. . . . Exquisite writing." ---"Houston"" Chronicle" on "Josephine"

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