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Review: Volume 39 - Monarchy

Review: Volume 39 - Monarchy

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Henry V is regarded as the great English hero. Lionized in his own day for his victory at Agincourt, his piety and his rigorous application of justice, he was elevated by Shakespeare into a champion of English nationalism for all future generations. But what was he really like? Does he deserve to be thought of as 'the greatest man who ever ruled England?'. In this groundbreaking and ambitious book, Ian Mortimer portrays Henry in the pivotal year of his reign. Recording the dramatic events of 1415 on a day-by-day basis, he offers the fullest, most precise and least romanticized view we have of Henry and what he did. In addition, the king's story is told against the background of other important developments in Europe, in particular the struggle for power within the Catholic Church and official attempts to eradicate any deviant religious beliefs. In so doing the reader encounters unexpected and eye-opening explanations for why Henry tried to unify the kingdoms of England and France - and why he was prepared to burn men alive as heretics. The result is not only a fascinating reappraisal of Henry; it brings to the fore many unpalatable truths which biographers and military historians have largely ignored. While Henry retains the essential qualities of his greatness, his legend is stripped of its Shakespearean rhetoric and compassion. At the center of the book is the campaign which culminated in the battle of Agincourt: a slaughter ground designed not to advance England's interests directly but to demonstrate God's approval of Henry's royal authority on both sides of the Channel. 1415 was a year of religious persecution, personal suffering and one horrendous battle. This is the story of that year, as seen over the shoulder of its most cold-hearted, most ambitious and most celebrated hero.

K S Williams, and , and C Simon
Vol. 40, 1995

Casper J. van der Kooi, Doekele G. Stavenga, Kentaro Arikawa, Gregor Belušič, Almut Kelber
Vol. 66, 2021


Color vision is widespread among insects but varies among species, depending on the spectral sensitivities and interplay of the participating photoreceptors. The spectral sensitivity of a photoreceptor is principally determined by the absorption spectrum . Read More

Supplemental Materials

Figure 1: Photoreceptor anatomy and spectral sensitivity for a few exemplary insects. (a) Schematic representation of photoreceptor anatomy for the butterfly Pieris rapae, the hawkmoth Deilephila elpe.

Figure 2: Photoreceptor spectral sensitivity maxima for different insect orders. Spectral sensitivity maxima are grouped by family only families with at least one species studied are shown. The numbe.

July monarchy

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July monarchy, In French history, the reign of Louis-Philippe (1830–48), brought about by the July Revolution. Also known as the “bourgeois monarchy,” the new regime rested on a broad social base centred on the wealthy bourgeoisie. Two factions emerged in the Chamber of Deputies: the centre-right faction, led by Francois Guizot, shared the king’s political doctrines and the centre-left faction, led by Adolphe Thiers, favoured restricting the king’s role. The 1830s were politically unstable, marked by challenges to the regime by the legitimists and republicans, as well as attempts to assassinate the king. There were several labour uprisings, and Louis-Napoléon (later Napoleon III) made two unsuccessful attempts to take the crown. A period of remarkable stability began c. 1840. Guizot, devoted to the king and the preservation of the status quo, became the key figure in the ministry. He imposed high protective tariffs that resulted in an economic boom, beginning France’s transformation to an industrial society. In foreign affairs, the regime maintained friendly relations with Britain and supported Belgian independence. However, in 1848 general unrest led to the February Revolution and the end of the July monarchy.

Review: Volume 39 - Monarchy - History

Monarchy, with David Starkey

A history of the English Crown from AD 400 to today

Monarchy is a Channel 4 British TV series, 2004-2006, by British academic David Starkey, charting the political and ideological history of the English monarchy (later British), from the Saxon period to modern times. The show also aired on PBS stations throughout the United States, courtesy of the television station WNET.

The first series of Dr David Starkey's history of the British monarchy takes us from Alfred the Great, who helped drag a barely formed England out of the Dark Ages, to Shakespeare's powerful and illustrious hero kings.

1. A Nation State: Dr David Starkey begins his history of the British monarchy in the violence and chaos of the Dark Ages, telling the dramatic story of the creation of England and the triumph of an English hero, Alfred the Great.

2. Ængla Land: The rise of the Anglo-saxons, the wars against the Vikings and the victory over King Harold by the Norman Duke William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

3. Conquest: Following the Battle of Hastings and subsequent Norman Conquest. This covers a tumultuous time in English history, which saw murders and eventually, civil war. As the direction of English kingship takes a radical new turn with the invasion and imposition of Norman history, Dr Starkey follows the fortunes of both the invaders and the invaded.

4. Dynasty: The time of Henry II of England, and his conflict with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.Profiling the mediaeval superstar, King Henry II of England, whose dominion stretched from the moors of Scotland to the foothills of the Pyrenees.

5. A United Kingdom
: The reigns of three Edwards: Edward I, and his attempt at a United Kingdom, how his son Edward II almost lost it all, but restored by Edward III, grandson of Edward I. Dr Starkey looks at a century that saw the reigns of three Edwards: father, son and grandson. Edward I took the image and might of the English monarchy to new heights.

6. Death of a Dynasty: Follows the reigns made famous by Shakespeare Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI. A time of civil unrest and doubt in monarchy itself.

1. The Crown Imperial: 1450s and The Wars of the Roses, the birth of the Tudors.

2. King and Emperor: The reign of Henry VIII, his divorces and resulting dissociation with Rome, which led to the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

3. The Shadow of the King
: Following the death of Henry VIII and the Act of Succession of 1543, which allowed all three of his children to rule. Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

4. The Stuart Succession
: With the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the English royalty was at its zenith. Scotland and England became united under the Stuart King James I (VI of Scotland), but his son Charles I within a generation would throw the country into civil war.

5. Cromwell The King Killer
: 1644, the English Civil War was at its height and monarchy - undisputable before the war - was under threat.

Series 3

1. The Return of the King
(13 November 2006): Starting in 1660 with the return from exile of King Charles II. By aligning his throne with Catholic France and Protestant Parliament, Charles's reign restored the authority of the English crown and laid the foundation of the world's first modern state.

2. The Glorious Revolution (20 November 2006): Looking at the "Bloodless Revolution" of 1688, the Parliament-devised plot to overthrow England's last Roman Catholic King, James II, and replace him with his Dutch Protestant son-in-law William of Orange.

3. Rule Britannia (27 November 2006): In just 25 years after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, England was transformed from an insignificant minor state to the greatest power in Europe. Along the way she became known under a new name to match her swelling status: Great Britain.

4. Empire (4 December 2006): In 1714, an obscure German Prince was crowned King George I of Great Britain, signalling the beginning of a new political era that saw the rise of the new role of Prime Minister, and established the pattern of political modernity we are familiar with today.

5. Survival (11 December 2006): When, in 1789, the Bastille prison in Paris was stormed and the French Revolution began, few in Britain - least of all King George III, who was recovering from one of his bouts of madness - thought that it would lead to a cataclysmic war with France.

1. The Windsors (26 December 2007): Death of Queen Victoria, to present day. Speculation on the path of King Charles III or King George VII. This single extended episode completes the series.

Editorial Review, from Amazon.com :
Monarchy with David Starkey attempts to present "the power and passion behind 1,000 years of the English crown," as proclaimed on the DVD case. Hosted by Dr. David Starkey, a veteran presenter of several documentaries on English royal history (including The Six Wives of Henry VIII from 2001), this documentary is a six-episode overview of the history of the English monarchy, the oldest-functioning political institution in Europe. Volume 1 covers the early kings from the dissolution of Roman power in Britain, through the middle ages and up to the establishment of the House of Tudor, ending with the ascension to the throne of Henry VIII. Volume 2 focuses on Henry&rsquos legacy, the question of succession that lead to Elizabeth I becoming queen, and carries us up through Cromwell and the Civil War to the Restoration with the return to the throne of Charles II. Starkey is filmed on location throughout England, Scotland, and France describing the events at the spots where they actually happened, but not every location is given its full due (in some cases, Starkey is seen standing at what is obviously an important memorial, but then fails to describe exactly where that is or what exactly transpired there) and several segments leave important details out, probably in the interest of saving time a thousand years is a lot of ground to cover in only 332 minutes. As a result, Monarchy is a fast-moving overview of a fascinating segment of history, and not a close-up look that would require more time than six episodes could cover. But it does do an excellent job of elucidating the stories and presenting what is a unique theme throughout British royal history: the need of every monarch to balance protection of their authority by force while securing the consent of their subjects to rule. Students and those looking for an easily-digestible version of English history will really enjoy it. Committed Anglophiles and those interested in a more detailed look at the people and places involved might want to use this as a starting point and move on to more detailed accounts from there. --Daniel Vancini

Product Description
Eminent scholar and energetic storyteller Dr. David Starkey (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) serves as your guide through nearly 10 centuries of royal rule in England. From the fall of the Roman Empire to the Restoration, Starkey vividly describes the human drama behind the throne, with all its intrigue, lust, treachery, and thirst for power. You visit the very stages upon which history played out&mdashWestminster Abbey, Bosworth Field, the dreaded Tower of London, and more&mdashand explore the true character of the men and women who wore the crown.

In this rich tapestry, Starkey identifies a unifying thread. On one hand, England required authoritarian might to stand strong against external threats. On the other, it cherished its longstanding tradition of rule by consent of the governed. The dynamic tension between these two impulses enabled the monarchy to survive as the oldest-functioning political institution in Europe.

David Starkey

David Robert Starkey, CBE, FSA (born 3 January 1945) is an openly gay English historian, a television and radio presenter, and a specialist in the Tudor period.

Early years

Starkey was born the only child of poor Quaker parents in Kendal, Westmorland (now Cumbria), England. He now resides in Barham, Kent. His mother, Elsie Lyon, a strong personality, had a powerful influence on Starkey's formative years he portrays his father, Robert Starkey, as a somewhat ineffectual man.[1]

Despite suffering from physical disabilities, Starkey did well at school and won a scholarship to be at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. As a student at Cambridge, he fell under the influence of Professor G.R. Elton. According to Starkey, Elton provided the stern father figure he had never had, against whom to rebel.

Academic and media career

From 1972 to 1998 Starkey taught history at the London School of Economics. During this period, he embarked on a career as a broadcaster, and soon acquired a reputation for abrasiveness, particularly on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze, a debating programme, on which he was a ruthless interrogator of "witnesses" examining contemporary moral questions. In the 1990s he presented a current affairs phone-in show on Talk Radio UK (since relaunched as talkSPORT) where his manner with callers served to bolster his rebarbative reputation. However, the programme, which he described as "three hours of brainy blarney" was extremely popular. His rudeness has been singled out by his detractors. In the televised Trial of Richard III, he appeared as a witness for the prosecution, and accused the defence counsel, Sir Brian Dillon, of having a "small lawyer's mind". More recently, he received considerable attention when he compared Elizabeth II unfavourably with her predecessors, calling her an uneducated housewife, and comparing her cultural attitude to Josef Goebbels, by suggesting that she gave him the impression that every time she heard the word culture she wanted to reach for a gun (in fact the line is most commonly attributed to Hermann Göring, but was really written by the lesser known Nazi playwright Hanns Johst).[2][3]

Starkey elicited further controversy in March 2009 by arguing that female historians had "feminised" history by writing social history or focusing on female subjects. He claimed that undue attention had been given to Henry VIII's wives, even though he had presented his own television series on the subject. He stated: "But it's what you expect from feminised history, the fact that so many of the writers who write about this are women and so much of their audience is a female audience. Unhappy marriages are big box office." He also argued that, although several monarchs were female, including Queen Mary, Elizabeth I, and Queen Victoria, women should not be considered "power players" in pre-20th century Europe.[4] He was accused of misogyny by historian Lucy Worsley.[5]

His television series on Henry VIII of England, Elizabeth I of England, the six Wives of Henry VIII (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) and on lesser-known Tudor monarchs have made him a familiar face. In 2004 he began a Channel 4 multi-year series Monarchy, which chronicled the history of English kings and queens from the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms onward. His greatest contribution to Tudor research has been in explaining the complicated social etiquette of Henry's household, exploring the complicated nature of Catherine Howard's fall in 1541&ndash1542, and rescuing Anne Boleyn from the historical doldrums by persuasively proving that she was a committed religious reformer, keen politician and sparkling intellectual. Starkey has also rejected the historical community's tendency to portray Catherine of Aragon as a "plaster-of-Paris saint".

In October 2006 he started hosting the second series of The Last Word now known as Starkey's Last Word. He also makes regular radio broadcasts and contributes to many magazines and newspapers.

Starkey was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1994.[6] He was appointed CBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list.[7]

Starkey is openly gay. His partner is James Brown, a publisher and book designer,[8] and he has often discussed his sexuality in the Moral Maze and other discussion shows.[9][10]

Formerly a leftist, Starkey is now known for his right-wing views. For example, he says of multiculturalism: "What's striking about our problem ethnic communities is that they are the ones with the least commitment to self-betterment."[11]

Starkey also offended some viewers of BBC One's Question Time in April 2009 when he criticised Scottish, Irish and Welsh nationalism and described these nations as "feeble".[12] However, others, including some of the studio audience, supported his attacks on politicians.[13]

This same month (April, 2009) Starkey acted as Guest Curator for Henry VIII: Man & Monarch, an exhibition of documents (and some portraits) at the British Library.[1]

* This Land of England (1985) (with David Souden)
* The Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics (1986)
* Revolution Reassessed: Revisions in the History of Tudor Government and Administration (1986) (Editor with Christopher Coleman)
* The English Court from the Wars of the Roses to the Civil War (1987)
* Rivals in Power: the Lives and Letters of the Great Tudor Dynasties (1990)
* Henry VIII: A European Court in England (1991)
* The Inventory of Henry VIII: Volume 1 (1998) (with Philip Ward and Alistair Hawkyard)
* Elizabeth: Apprenticeship (2000) (published in North America as Elizabeth: The struggle for the throne)
* The Stuart Courts - Foreword (2000) (Edited by Eveline Cruickshanks)
* The Inventory of Henry VIII: Essays and Illustrations Volume 2 (2002) (with Philip Ward and Alistair Hawkyard)
* The Inventory of Henry VIII: Essays and Illustrations Volume 3 (2002) (with Philip Ward and Alistair Hawkyard)
* The Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII (2003)
* Elizabeth I: The Exhibition Catalogue (2003)
* The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives - Introduction and Preface (2004) (James P. Carley)
* The Monarchy of England: The Beginnings (2004)
* Monarchy: From the Middle Ages to Modernity (2006)
* Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007 - Introduction (2007) (Edited by Sarah McCarthy, Bernard Nurse, and David Gaimster)
* Henry: Virtuous Prince (2008)
* Introduction to Henry VIII Man & Monarch (Susan Doran, ed. published by the British Library, 2009)

Book Review – Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia: Monarchy, Revolution and the Legacy of Meles Zenawi Edited by Gérard Prunier and Éloi Ficquet

Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia is an impressive volume, one which contains a wealth of information on the historical, cultural and religious underpinnings of the landlocked country in the Horn of Africa, says Nick Branson.

This edited volume draws substantially on a 2007 collection compiled under Gérard Prunier’s direction while at the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies. Chapters retained from L’Éthiopie contemporaine have been updated and are complemented by new submissions on religion, Ethiopia’s regional influence, the economy, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and Meles Zenawi. While the contributing authors are primarily farenji, all are experts in their field.

Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia endeavours to “provide a toolbox useful to all those who seek to discern the lines of evolution of this complex and in many ways hermitic country”. Breaking from the clichéd photographs which illustrated the original French edition, the editors have included a series of eight maps to illustrate the demographic composition and spiritual persuasion of the nine regional states and two chartered cities which constitute the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). Their most striking inclusion is a “Rift-orientated” map of the country (see below).

The book is divided into three sections. The first examines the ethnic, geographical and religious heterogeneity of this vast nation Africa’s second largest by population. Anthropologists Éloi Fiquet and Dereje Feyissa consider the multitude of identities, hierarchies and narratives in Ethiopia, and illustrate how they affect national unity. The authors emphasise the “historical interactions, forms of exchange and conflicts that have taken place over centuries” and underline how these have become “deeply embedded in social structures and collective memories”. Chapters on the Orthodox Church, Islam, Pentecostalism and Rastafarianism follow.

The middle section deals with the political history of the modern state. Shiferaw Bekele explores the rule of three kings of kings: Tewodros, Yohannes, and Menelik. While his old-fashioned prose, shades of hagiography, and teleological narrative may not appeal to more youthful readers, the author is to be commended for producing an accessible account of an understudied period. How African scholars react to his conclusion that, compared to its neighbours, Ethiopia was disadvantaged by not being colonised, remains to be seen.

Christopher Clapham picks up the account of nation building under the reign of Haile Selassie, a subject on which he has written extensively over the past four decades. His unparalleled understanding of Ethiopian history and geopolitics results in thought-provoking analysis of the period. Prunier’s superbly written account of the 1974 revolution likewise combines domestic factors and regional context. Yet his emphasis on the sui generis nature of the uprising appears dated following the Arab Spring, which is relegated to the footnotes. Equating feudal Ethiopia to tsarist Russia and Bourbon France may strike some readers as Eurocentric. Others may contend that such comparisons understate the influence of Meiji-era Japan on Haile Selassie’s ministers. A more novel approach might have been to tease out commonalities between feudal Ethiopia and the settler states of southern and eastern Africa.

Prunier’s chapter on Eritrea will no doubt prove controversial. For a scholar to dismiss the views of those exercised by this issue as being “based on feelings rather than on any dispassionate attempts at analysing the elements at our disposal” will not be welcome, regardless of its accuracy. This candour aside, he succinctly summarises the historical factors which helped to form an Eritrean “proto-identity”, and the unintended consequences of first Italian and later British occupation. Oddly, Prunier neglects to mention the prominent role which women played in the liberation struggle, and the influence which they continue to exert in society. He concludes that the status quo in Eritrea “keeps contributing, like the now distant Italian colonial past, to the further shaping of a distinct identity.”

On the TPLF, Medhane Tadesse maintains that internal divisions and purges followed by “the shock of an ambiguously contested election in 2005 left the Front with no other choice but regrouping under one strongman advocating a developmental state agenda.” This apparent inevitability is not explained by the author, whose argument is weakened from having not been reframed to consider “the command economy without a commander”, as Prunier labelled post-Meles Ethiopia. Although Medhane Tadesse’s account of the TPLF’s ideological and military development is somewhat repetitious, it is tempered by references to the party’s governance of areas under its control, and concludes with a useful section on the transitional period.

The final section considers contemporary governance. Sarah Vaughan lucidly explains the rationale behind ethnic federalism and decentralisation, before analysing the expansion and contraction of the political space up until 2010. However, her attempt to unpack the complex concepts of “revolutionary democracy” and the “developmental state” appears a little rushed, especially when the latter dovetails with René Lefort’s contribution on the economy. The chapter by Patrick Gilkes is an odd fit for scholarly volume. While his narrative account of the 2005, 2008 and 2010 elections is extremely detailed, it is largely subjective. The author cites only three sources over the course of 17 pages. Those seeking a comprehensive list of the shortcomings of the opposition will nevertheless find it of interest.

Lefort leverages over 200 sources to support his analysis of the evolution, successes and shortcomings of state-led development. His chapter opens with the assertion that “Ethiopia’s economic progress is undeniable, but it is often difficult to give an accurate quantitative measure of it.” Regrettably, Lefort fails to improve the situation by citing statistics from 2010/11, when more recent data – for example on Internet access – might lead to different conclusions. The chapter does, fortuitously, conclude with a short addendum from May 2014, but the new Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) remains out of scope. Perrine Duroyaume complements the above with a thoroughly riveting and systematically critical account of Addis Ababa’s growth and urban renewal. Prunier rounds off the volume with what he terms “a kind of philosophical musing” on Meles Zenawi.

Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia contains a wealth of information on the historical, cultural and religious underpinnings of the modern Habesha state. The editors have assembled an impressive series of contributions, and the publishers must be commended on an incredibly detailed index, which runs to 40 pages and includes the dates of major historical events. Although it is regrettably dated in parts, students of anthropology, history, sociology and politics will all find something of interest in this volume. Likewise, diplomats, aid workers and investors might find greater success in navigating the corridors of Addis Ababa – and differentiating between wax and gold – if they read a chapter or two.

Nick Branson is Senior Researcher at Africa Research Institute. Follow him on Twitter @NHBranson.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of the Africa at LSE blog or the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Review: The Monarchy by Christopher Hitchens

The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish (1990) is an extended essay by polemicist Christopher Hitchens in which he debunks the myths surrounding the Sovereign and argues persuasively for a re-evaluation of the United Kingdom's deference to the Monarchy in favour of an open Republic. Hitchens discusses the national identity built around this “fetish”, the nation of subjects who choose servility over independence, and the distortion of history when it threatens the portrait of the Royal Family. This is not an attack on any specific individuals within the Monarchy, it is a demolition of the very notion of the Monarchy.

In trying to explain the nation's continuing love affair with the Royal Family, Hitchens perceptively suggests that for many, the tradition of the Royal Family, who are so firmly tied to the country's history, points back to past greatness, and that in the second half of the twentieth century they provided a splash of colour in a fading empire, which was increasingly devoid of promise and character. This he suggests, leads the subjects of the nation to adapt history to favour the status quo - peaceful and blind consensus might, Hitchens argues, be to the Monarchy's benefit, but is it to the people's?

Far from a powerless institution, Hitchens suggests that, in fact, it is the nation's subjects who are kept servile by bizarre and meaningless practices like the honours list while ultimate power is retained at the very top. What's more, far from simply dividing the nation down the line of Ruler and Subjects, the Royal Family in fact help to propagate the class system which serves the few and suppresses the majority.

This is a 40-page essay and as such lacks the depth of more extended arguments against the Monarchy. Instead this is a thoughtful, brilliantly argued piece that cuts right to the heart of the matter and presents Hitchens's points in his own eloquent style. He offers no substantial discourse on an alternative, but rather limits himself to discussing the problem as he sees it, and the refutation of the arguments put forward by supporters of the Monarchy. This pamphlet is "an invitation to think", and claims to be nothing more, yet it is scathing in its decrying of the nation's position to the Monarchy. Here's Hitchens in full flow:

Hitchens's position on the Monarchy is more than faintly reminiscent of his position on Religion, on which he wrote much more widely, identifying the servility, backward-thinking, and blindness to the 'flaw' in one's own beliefs that might be so readily identified and sniffed at in others, that for Hitchens represents the position of the believer. Indeed he is keen to highlight and lament the link between the state and the Church of England - a link enshrined in the country's composition. There are many similarities between Hitchens's thoughts and those of one of his heroes, Thomas Paine, who he here labels "the first republican". Separated by some two-hundred years, it is perhaps testament to the Monarchy's ability to adapt and rule that both men faced a remarkably similar institution (at its core, at least), and that despite regular attacks from those with Republican leanings the majority remain loyal to the Queen.

Hitchens's own closing remarks sum up the essay's stance far more eloquantly than this reviewer can, so I close with them:

Insect Declines in the Anthropocene

David L. Wagner
Vol. 65, 2020


Insect declines are being reported worldwide for flying, ground, and aquatic lineages. Most reports come from western and northern Europe, where the insect fauna is well-studied and there are considerable demographic data for many taxonomically disparate . Read More

Figure 1: Location of 73 insect decline reports by taxon or group, adapted from Sánchez-Bayo & Wyckhuys (156). Each square represents a single study, with the base of each stacked bar positioned over .

Figure 2: Population trends for insects tracked by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UK insects from Dirzo et al. (34). (a) Trend data for IUCN-listed Coleoptera (Col), Hym.

Figure 3: Reversal of fortunes. An important aspect of recent decline reports is evidence of steep population declines in formerly abundant species. (a) The Rocky Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus)—.

Functions of monarchies

A monarchy consists of distinct but interdependent institutions—a government and a state administration on the one hand, and a court and a variety of ceremonies on the other—that provide for the social life of the members of the dynasty, their friends, and the associated elite. Monarchy thus entails not only a political-administrative organization but also a “court society,” a term coined by the 20th-century German-born sociologist Norbert Elias to designate various groups of nobility that are linked to the monarchical dynasty (or “royal” house) through a web of personal bonds. All such bonds are evident in symbolic and ceremonial proprieties.

During a given society’s history there are certain changes and processes that create conditions conducive to the rise of monarchy. Because warfare was the main means of acquiring fertile land and trade routes, some of the most prominent monarchs in the ancient world made their initial mark as warrior-leaders. Thus, the military accomplishments of Octavian (later Augustus) led to his position as emperor and to the institution of monarchy in the Roman Empire. Infrastructural programs and state-building also contributed to the development of monarchies. The need, common in arid cultures, to allocate fertile land and manage a regime of fresh water distribution (what the German American historian Karl Wittfogel called hydraulic civilization) accounted for the founding of the ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Babylonian monarchies on the banks of rivers. The monarchs also had to prove themselves as state-builders.

Monarchy also results from the wish of a society—be it a city population, tribe, or multi-tribal “people”—to groom an indigenous leader who will properly represent its historical achievements and advance its interests. Monarchy, therefore, rests on the cultural identity and symbolism of the society it represents, and in so doing it reifies that identity within the society while also projecting it to outsiders. Perhaps most importantly, successful and popular monarchs were believed to have a sacred right to rule: some were regarded as gods (as in the case of the Egyptian pharaohs or the Japanese monarchs), some were crowned by priests, others were designated by prophets (King David of Israel), and still others were theocrats, leading both the religious and political spheres of their society—as did the caliphs of the Islamic state from the 7th century ce . Coming from these varying backgrounds, leaders first rose to power on the grounds of their abilities and charisma. Accordingly, monarchies proved capable of adapting to various social structures while also enduring dynamic cultural and geopolitical conditions. Thus, some ancient monarchies evolved as small city-states while others became large empires, the Roman Empire being the most conspicuous example.

European Royalty

Unless otherwise noted, these books are for sale at Amazon.com. Your purchase through these links will result in a commission for the owner of the Royalty.nu site.

Modern Royalty and Aristocracy

The Great Survivors: How Monarchy Made It Into the Twenty-First Century by Peter Conradi. Tells the story of seven European reigning dynasties: the personalities, the history, their role in politics and society.

The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy: European Monarchies Compared edited by Robert Hazell and Bob Morris. Written by experts from Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK, this book consider monarchy's role, powers and functions, the laws of succession, royal finances, and more.

Realms of Royalty: New Directions in Researching Contemporary European Monarchies edited by Christina Jordan and Imke Polland. Theoretical approaches to recent developments (such as pop concerts during royal celebrations) and royal families' interactions with their subjects.

Aristocracy and the Modern World by Ellis Wasson. The first comprehensive study of the traditional European ruling class during the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include wealth, family, recreation, gender, local authority and national power.

Princely Treasures by Geza Von Habsburg-Lothringen. European royal treasures from the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, including ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and silver.

Symbols of Power in Art by Paola Rapelli. Examines not only regal paraphernalia such as crowns, scepters, thrones, and orbs, but also the painted portraits, sculptures, tapestries, carved ivories, jewelry, coins, armor, and photographs created to display power.

The Royal Families of Europe by Geoffrey Hindley is about modern royal families, both reigning and deposed. Published in 2001.

Sex, Marriage, and Divorce

Sex With Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge by Eleanor Herman. A history of royal mistresses. You can read my review of the book here.

Sex With the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics by Eleanor Herman. How did queens find happiness? Many had love affairs. This book discusses Anne Boleyn, Catherine the Great, Marie Antoinette, Princess Diana, and other royal women.

Royal Romances: Titillating Tales of Passion and Power in the Palaces of Europe by Leslie Carroll. Includes the love stories of Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon, Catherine the Great and Grigory Potemkin, Marie Antoinette and Count Axel von Fersen, and today's Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire by Leslie Carroll. A "funny, raucous, and delightfully dirty" 900-year history of European royal marriages.

Inglorious Royal Marriages: A Demi-Millennium of Unholy Mismatrimony by Leslie Carroll. Outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, including Margaret Tudor and Mary I, who were desperately in love with unfaithful husbands two Medici princesses who were murdered by their husbands and Charles II's sister Minette, whose husband wore more makeup than she did.

Royal Love Stories by Gill Paul. The tales behind the real-life romances of Europe's kings and queens.

Dissolving Royal Marriages: A Documentary History, 860-1600 edited by David d'Avray. Drawing from original translations of key source documents, the book sheds new light on elite divorces and annulments. Topics include Eleanor of Aquitaine, King John of England, Plaisance of Cyprus, Alfonso III of Portugal, Margaret Tudor of Scotland, and Henri IV of France.

Scandal, Folly, Mystery, Murder

Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds by Leslie Carroll. Looks at some of European history's boldest, baddest, and bawdiest royals.

Royal Babylon: The Alarming History of European Royalty by Karl Shaw. Presents European royals as "a collection of madmen, philanderers, sexual misfits, sociopaths, and tragic emotional cripples."

Royal Blunders by Geoffrey Regan. Learn about the Hapsburg emperor who ate himself to death, the medieval French monarch who was utterly convinced that he was made of glass, and more.

Murder and Monarchy: Regicide in European History, 1300-1800 edited by Robert von Friedeburg. Fifteen leading scholars examine case studies of physical assaults on kings and on members of royal families.

Royal Murders: Hatred, Revenge, and the Seizing of Power by Dulcie M. Ashdown discusses murders of and by European royals over the past 1,000 years.

The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul by Eleanor Herman. A work of pop history that traces the use of poison as a political tool in the royal courts of Western Europe.

Royalty & Disease

Royal Maladies: Inherited Diseases in the Royal Houses of Europe by Alan R. Rushton, M.D., Ph.D. A study of the hereditary diseases hemophilia and porphyria in the personal and political lives of the European royal families.

Queen Victoria's Gene by D. M. Potts and W. T. W. Potts. About the hemophilia gene Queen Victoria passed down to her descendants and how it affected modern European history.

Medicine at the Courts of Europe: 1500-1837 edited by Vivian Nutton. Essays examining medical activities in a courts from the Rome of the Borgias to the Catherine the Great's Russia.

Pop Culture

Premodern Rulers and Postmodern Viewers: Gender, Sex, and Power in Popular Culture edited by Janice North, Karl C. Alvestad, and Elena Woodacre. How the lives of European monarchs have been mythologized on-screen to appeal to today's audiences.

European History

Europe: A History by Norman Davies. The first major history of Europe to give equal weight to both East and West, from the Ice Age to the Atomic Age.

Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations by Norman Davies. An account of 14 European kingdoms -- their rise, maturity, and eventual disappearance. Includes Aragon, Etruria, and the Kingdom of the Two Burgundies.

The Penguin History of Europe by J. M. Roberts. The tale of the European continent, from its Neolithic origins and early civilizations of the Aegean to the 21st century.

The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe by Barry Cunliffe. A comprehensive account of prehistoric Europe from the coming of the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman Empire.

European History for Dummies by Dr. Seán Lang. The disasters, triumphs, power struggles and politics that have shaped Europe from the Stone Age to the 21st century.

The European Nobilities: Western and Southern Europe edited by Hamish Scott. A collection of essays about nobility in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the Manner of the Franks: Hunting, Kingship, and Masculinity in Early Medieval Europe by Eric J. Goldberg. Royal hunting from the late Roman Empire to the death of the last Carolingian king, Louis V, in a hunting accident in 987.

The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe by Michael Pye. Saints and spies, pirates and philosophers, artists and intellectuals criss-crossed the North Sea during the Dark Ages.

The Mighty Warrior Kings: From the Ashes of the Roman Empire to the New Ruling Order by Philip J. Potter. Traces the history of early Europe through the biographies of nine kings, from Charlemagne to Robert the Bruce.

Blood Royal: Dynastic Politics in Medieval Europe by Robert Bartlett. Explores the role played by family in the politics of royal and imperial dynasties.

Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy, 800-1230 by Sara McDougall. Well into the late 12th century, being a legitimate heir depended on social status and lineage, not parents' marital status. Includes genealogical charts of the House of Jerusalem and Iberian royal houses.

Royal and Elite Households in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: More Than Just a Castle edited by Theresa Earenfight. Topics include the nuclear and extended royal family, their household attendants, noblemen and noblewomen as courtiers, and physicians.

Magnificence and Princely Splendour in the Middle Ages by Richard Barber. In medieval Europe, magnificence was seen as the king's duty, and it applied to his garments, courtiers, artists, feasts and ceremonies. This wide-ranging survey centers on France.

Rebel Barons: Resisting Royal Power in Medieval Culture by Luke Sunderland. Epic poems, prose, and chronicles reflected aristocratic concerns about tyranny and were models of violent opposition to sovereigns.

The Book of Emperors: A Translation of the Middle High German Kaiserchronik edited and translated by Henry A. Myers. The Kaiserchronik (c.1152-1165) is a verse chronicle of the exploits of the Roman, Byzantine, Carolingian, and Holy Roman kings and rulers, from the establishment of Rome to the start of the Second Crusade.

The King's Body: Sacred Rituals of Power in Medieval and Early Modern Europe by Sergio Bertelli, translated by R. Burr Litchfield. Looks at kingship in the Middle Ages, when the distinction between the political and the religious did not exist.

Kings and Warriors in Early North-West Europe edited by Jan Erik Rekdaland Charles Doherty. Essays examine how medieval Norse, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon writers highlighted the role of the warrior in relation to kings and society.

Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses by Gabor Klaniczay is about dynastic cults in medieval central Europe.

The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe by George Holmes. An account of life in medieval Europe between the fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of the Renaissance.

Atlas of Medieval Europe edited by Angus MacKay and David Ditchburn. Covers the period from the fall of the Roman Empire through the beginnings of the Renaissance.

Renaissance & Early Modern

Princes and Princely Culture 1450-1650 by Martin Gosman. Thirteen essays on European princes of the medieval and Renaissance eras.

The Renaissance Monarchies, 1469-1558 by Catherine Mulgan. Discusses Ferdinand and Isabella, their grandson Charles V, and Francis I.


Monarchs of the Renaissance by Philip J. Potter. The lives and reigns of 42 European kings and queens.

Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions That Forged Modern Europe by John Julius Norwich. About 16th century rulers of England, France, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire who changed European history.

Early Modern

Unexpected Heirs in Early Modern Europe: Potential Kings and Queens edited by Valerie Schutte. There were many surprising accessions in the early modern period, including Mary I of England and Henry III of France. This book evaluates their lives and the repercussions of their reigns.

Monarchy Transformed: Princes and Their Elites in Early Modern Western Europe edited by Robert von Friedeburg and John Morrill. Argues that the new monarchies that emerged during the 'long 17th century' were not states in a modern sense, but princely dynasties.

Kings, Nobles and Commoners: States and Societies in Early Modern Europe by Jeremy Black. Tackles questions vital for understanding of early modern Europe. What was the nature of the state? Did Protestantism lead to progress and Catholicism to absolutism?

Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History by Euan Cameron. From the Renaissance and the Reformation to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.

Perceiving Power in Early Modern Europe edited by Francis So. This collection discusses forms of kingship such as client-kingship, monarchy, queen consort and regnant queenship.

The 18th & 19th Centuries

Life in the Georgian Court by Catherine Curzon. Peep behind the shutters of the opulent courts of 18th century Europe at royal scandals, tragedies, and romance.

Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Creation of the Modern State, 1789-1848 by Adam Zamoyski. After the French Revolution, monarchs and their courtiers lived in constant fear of rebellion.

The 'Sailor Prince' in the Age of Empire: Creating a Monarchical Brand in Nineteenth-Century Europe by Miriam Magdalena Schneider. Traces the careers and travels of Prince Alfred of Britain, Prince Heinrich of Prussia, Prince Valdemar of Denmark, and Prince Georgios of Greece.

Sons and Heirs: Succession and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century Europe edited by Frank Lorenz Müller and Heidi Mehrkens. Focuses on the role of royal heirs, including their education and accommodation, their ability to overcome succession crises, the consequences of the death of an heir, and their roles during the First World War.

Royal Heirs and the Uses of Soft Power in Nineteenth-Century Europe edited by Frank Muller and Heidi Mehrkens. Studies exploring the role played by royal heirs in Britain, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Sweden, Norway and Prussia.

Courts and Courtiers

The Princely Court by Malcolm Vale is about medieval courts and culture in North-West Europe, 1270-1380.

The Age of the Favourite, edited by J.H. Elliott and Laurence Brockliss, is about European royal favorites in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Politics of Female Households: Ladies-in-Waiting Across Early Modern Europe edited by Nadine Akkerman and Birgit Houben. Essays about the ways in which women influenced the politics and culture of their times.

Monarchy and Religion: The Transformation of Royal Culture in Eighteenth-Century Europe edited by Michael Schaich. Essays investigate the role of clergymen, religious observances, and religious images and ceremonies at British, French, Russian, and German royal courts.

Royal Life and Food

Childhood at Court, 1819-1914 by John Van Der Kiste. What was childhood like for European princes and princesses in the Victorian and Edwardian periods? Here their education, recreation, and general upbringing is discussed.

Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting by Carolyn Harris. How European royal parents dealt with raising their children, from keeping Vikings at bay to fending off paparazzi.

Dressed to Rule: Royal and Court Costume From Louis XIV to Elizabeth II by Philip Mansel. Explores how rulers have sought to control their image through their appearance. Individual styles of dress throw light on the personalities of particular monarchs, their court system, and their ambitions.

Royal Taste: Food, Power and Status at the European Courts After 1789 edited by Danielle De Vooght. Contributors consider the way royals and aristocrats wined and dined. Topics include the role of sherry at the court of Queen Victoria, the use of the truffle as a promotional gift at the Savoy court, and the influence of Europe on banqueting at the Ottoman palace.

Eating With Emperors: 150 Years of Dining With Emperors, Kings, Queens. and the Occasional Maharajah by Jake Smith. Based on menu cards from the tables of world leaders, this book offers recipes along with anecdotes about Napoleon Bonaparte, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, Prince Rainier III, Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria-Hungary, Emperor Wilhelm II, Queen Victoria, and other European royals.

Monarchy, Politics and Law

The Prince and the Law, 1200-1600 by Kenneth Pennington is about sovereignty and rights in the western legal tradition.

Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages: Studies by Fritz Kern, translated by S. B. Chrimes. The history of the idea of Western monarchy, law, and constitution from the fifth century to the early 14th century.

Monarchy, Aristocracy, and the State in Europe 1300-1800 by Hillay Zmora. A survey of the relationship between the monarchy and the state in early modern Europe.

Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe edited by Robert Oresko, G. C. Gibbs, H. M. Scott. Illustrated collection of essays by leading scholars on the theme of sovereignty and political power in 17th- and 18th-century Europe.

The Royal Remains: The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty by Eric L. Santner. In early modern Europe, the king's body was literally sovereign. This book demonstrates the ways in which democratic societies have continued practices associated with kingship in distorted forms.

The Zenith of European Monarchy and Its Elites: The Politics of Culture, 1650-1750 by Nicholas Henshall. By the mid-17th century, several European monarchies were collapsing. This book shows how monarchs tried to work with, rather than against, their elites.

Monarchy and Exile: The Politics of Legitimacy From Marie de Medicis to Wilhelm II edited by Philip Mansel and Torsten Riotte. Detailed studies of 15 exiled royal figures from the 16th to 20th century, including the Jacobite court and the exiled kings of Hanover.

Monarchy and Power

A Clash of Thrones: The Power-Crazed Medieval Kings, Popes and Emperors of Europe by Andrew Rawson. An account of 450 years of treachery, triumph, and disaster, starting with the Great Schism in 1054 and ending with the discovery of the New World in 1492.

Peaceful Kings: Peace, Power and the Early Medieval Political Imagination by Paul Kershaw. The relationship between kingship and peace was explored in writing across Europe in the early Middle Ages.

Visual Power and Fame in Rene d'Anjou, Geoffrey Chaucer, and the Black Prince by SunHee Kim Gertz. How Naples king René d'Anjou (1409-1480) and England's Edward the Black Prince (1330-1376) communicated with audiences in order to secure fame.

Premodern Rulership and Contemporary Political Power: The King's Body Never Dies edited by Karolina Mroziewicz and Aleksander Sroczynski. In the medieval period, the monarch was seen as the embodiment of his kingdom, the body politic. This book offers 13 case studies from premodern and contemporary Europe on how bodies politic were, and continue to be, constructed and challenged.

The Myth of Absolutism: Change & Continuity in Early Modern European Monarchy by Nicholas Henshall. Examines the various definitions of "absolute monarchy" and the amount of real power monarchs wielded.

Congress of Vienna

The Congress of Vienna and Its Legacy: War and Great Power Diplomacy After Napoleon by Mark Jarrett. In September 1814, the rulers of Europe descended upon Vienna to reconstruct Europe after two decades of revolution and war, leading to a bold experiment in international cooperation known as the Congress System.

The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics After Napoleon by Brian E. Vick. Considers both the pageantry of the royals and elites who gathered after Napoleon's defeat and the landmark diplomatic agreements they brokered.


Crowns and Colonies: European Monarchies and Overseas Empires edited by Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery. This collection of essays explores the connections between monarchy and colonialism, with case studies drawn from Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

Royals on Tour: Politics, Pageantry and Colonialism edited by Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery. Explores visits by European monarchs and princes to colonies, and by indigenous royals to Europe in the 1800s and early 1900s.

European Queens

Bourbon Dynasty

The Impossible Bourbons: Europe's Most Ambitious Dynasty by Oliver Thomson. Traces the rise of the family that won the the crowns first of France, then Spain and finally Naples and Sicily, including the Spanish Bourbons right up to the present day King Juan Carlos.


Secrets of the Seven Smallest States of Europe by Thomas M. Eccardt. An illustrated look at the history, culture and inner workings of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.


Daughter of Venice: Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus and Woman of the Renaissance by Holly S. Hurlburt. Catherine Cornaro, a Venetian noblewoman, married King James II of Cyprus. After his death, she became regent and then monarch. This study considers the strategies of her reign until her forced abdication in 1489.


The Murder of Charles the Good by Galbert of Bruges, translated by James Bruce Ross. Charles the Good, count of Flanders, was the son of Denmark's King Canute IV. This is an account of his murder in 1127 and its profound effects on medieval Flemish society and the balance of power in Europe.


I, Jacqueline by Hilda Lewis. Novel about Jacqueline of Hainaut, thrice married, thrice imprisoned the extraordinary 15th-century life of a woman who endured the power politics of England, Burgundy, and France.


Making a Great Ruler: Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania by Giedre Michunaite. How does a ruler become "the Great"? This study suggests that Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania (r.1392-1430) was the main engineer of his image as a great ruler.

Historical Dictionary of Lithuania by Saulius Suziedelis. Includes lists of Lithuanian rulers from 1251-1795, four maps, and a detailed chronology.

Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe, 1295-1345 by S.C. Rowell. From 1250 to 1795 Lithuania covered a vast area of eastern and central Europe. This book examines how Lithuania expanded, defended itself against western European crusaders, and played a conspicuous part in European life.

Kingdom of Navarre

The Queens Regnant of Navarre: Succession, Politics, and Partnership, 1274-1512 by Elena Woodacre. There were five reigning queens of Navarre during the Middle Ages. This book examines female succession, power-sharing between the queens and their male consorts, and the queens' connections to other female rulers, including Isabel of Castile and Giovanna II of Naples.

Marguerite of Navarre

Marguerite de Navarre (1492-1549): Mother of the Renaissance by Patricia Francis Cholakian and Rouben C. Cholakian. Biography. Sister to the king of France, queen of Navarre, gifted writer, religious reformer, and patron of the arts -- Marguerite was one of the most important figures of the French Renaissance.

The Pleasure of Discernment: Marguerite de Navarre as Theologian by Carol Thysell. Margaret of Navarre, sister of French king Francis I and the wife of Henry II of Navarre, was a writer and the patron of Rabelais and other literary figures.

The Heptameron by Marguerite De Navarre. Believed to be the work of Margaret of Navarre, this book is located in the tradition of the Decameron : a collection of bawdy, romantic, and spiritual stories that offer a surprisingly immediate picture of life in sophisticated 16th century France.

The Humor of Marguerite De Navarre in the Heptameron: A Feminist Author Before Her Time by John Parkin. Marguerite's satiric short-story collection, the Heptameron, used stock medieval comic patterns.

Roma (Gypsies)

The Gypsies by Angus Fraser. Opens with an investigation of gypsy origins in India, then traces gypsy migration from the early Middle Ages to the present, through the Middle East, Europe, and the world.

A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia by David M. Crowe. Draws from previously untapped East European, Russian, and traditional sources to explore the life, history, and culture of the Roma from the Middle Ages until the present.

We Are the Romani People by Ian F. Hancock. The author, who is himself a Romani, speaks directly to the gadze (non-Gypsy) reader about his people and their history since leaving India one thousand years ago.

Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey by Isabel Fonseca. Describes the four years the author spent with Gypsies from Albania to Poland, listening to their stories and deciphering their taboos.


A Concise History of Switzerland by Clive Church and Randolph Head. Traces the historical and cultural development of the country from the end of the Dark Ages to the modern era.


Ukraine: A History by Orest Subtelny. Looks at the region's history from ancient times to the modern day.

A History of the Ukraine by Paul Robert Magocsi. Traces some 3,000 years of political, economic, and cultural history of the Ukraine, up until the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991.

The Dynasty of Chernigov, 1146-1246 by Martin Dimnik. Examines the Ukrainian princedom of Chernigov, including succession and inheritance, marriage alliances, and princely relations with the church.

First World War

The Emperors: How Europe's Greatest Rulers Were Destroyed by World War I by Gareth Russell. Tells the story of the Austrian, German and Russian imperial families during the First World War, and the political and personal struggles that brought about their ruin.

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm by Miranda Carter. The publisher sent me a copy of this book to review. It examines the family ties and friendships between European royals, including out-of-touch Russian tsar Nicholas II and bombastic German kaiser Wilhelm II, before the First World War. Although Britain's King George V is mentioned in the title, the book focuses more on his grandmother, Queen Victoria, and his father, King Edward VII. The writer has an eye for colorful anecdotes that help bring history to life.

Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War by Robert K. Massie. Vividly describes turn-of-the-century European royal families and their role in the First World War.

Crowns in Conflict by Theo Aronson. The triumph and tragedy of European monarchy, 1910-1918.

Royalty and Diplomacy in Europe, 1890-1914 by Roderick R. McLean. Examines the role of royal families in European diplomacy before the outbreak of the First World War.

Between Two Emperors edited by John Van der Kiste. Between 1894 and 1914, German emperor William II and his cousin Tsar Nicholas II of Russia exchanged a series of telegrams and letters. These are now published for the first time in one volume.

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes To War by Max Hastings. A history of the outbreak of World War I: the dramatic stretch from the breakdown of diplomacy to the battles -- the Marne, Ypres, Tannenberg -- that marked the frenzied first year.

A Mad Catastrophe by Geoffrey Wawro. The outbreak of World War I and the collapse of the Habsburg empire.

Imperial Requiem: Four Royal Women and the Fall of the Age of Empires by Justin C. Vovk. About Augusta Victoria, Germany's empress Queen Mary, whose strength made her the soul of the British monarchy Alexandra, the tsarina who helped topple the Russian monarchy and Zita, the resolute empress of Austria.

Children's Books

The Raucous Royals: Test Your Royal Wits - Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce Which Royal Rumors Are True by Carlyn Beccia. Looks at rumors and how the truth can become twisted over time. For children ages 4 to 8.

Rulers of the Middle Ages by Rafael Tilton. About Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, Genghis Khan, Frederick Barbarossa, Louis IX, Edward III, and Charles VII. For young adult readers.

Princes & Princesses: Art for Kids from Parkstone Press. Colorful jigsaw puzzles created from well-known paintings of princes and princesses. For children ages 4 to 8.

Watch the video: Η μοναρχία στην Ευρώπη (July 2022).


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