Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II

(10 customer reviews)


SKU: B08YS5NL1J Category:

An in-depth look at the British monarchy that’s “a superb synthesis of historical analysis, politics, and top-notch royal gossip” (

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08YS5NL1J
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atlantic Monthly Press (February 22, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 22, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 56613 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 556 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0802159109

10 reviews for Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II

  1. Sherry Sharpnack

    Superficial Look at the History of the English Monarchy
    This is a very superficial, introductory, text delineating the English monarchs from Egbert the Anglo Saxon to Elizabeth II, written by Tracy Borman, who is Chief Executor of the Heritage Education Trust and curator of royal palaces. I am familiar w/ her from Tudor websites, and eagerly anticipated this book on the history of the English monarchy. I should have expected it to be a cursory introduction only, as it would be difficult to go in-depth on the millennium-plus history of the English monarchy. She tries very hard to be fair to each monarch, even the undeserving ones. I mean, who can be nice about King John?
    Borman goes to great pains to show how the monarchy evolved from an absolute, appointed-by-God monarch to the constitutional monarchy that exits now. In the Introduction, Borman states that
    “The real power of the crown comes from the almost magical aura with which it is surrounded.” p. xviii. She continues “The monarchy’s unique survival owes much to the fact that, for all its ancient traditions and protocol, the royal family has been made to evolve and adapt in response to the needs and the opinions of the people.” p. xix
    The book ends with speculation over the future of the monarchy after Elizabeth II’s death, which is surely approaching. There have been scandals throughout its history – as noted in this book – but they piled upon one another w/ the modern family of the Windsors. Longer may Queen Elizabeth reign, b/c we surely do not know what will happen next!
    4 stars b/c as already mentioned, the book is a very superficial introduction, and spent far too long on the current batch of Windsors, IMHO, descending into gossip and speculation.

  2. Amazon Customer

    Wonderful overview!
    For someone who knows little about the British monarchy, this book is a perfect read. It goes deep enough on each king/queen so you get the most relevant and salient facts.

  3. Dave Slocum

    A thoroughly researched book hitting the important highlights of the British Monarchy. Very enjoyable read. I recommend this book to anyone attempting to learn more about the kings and queens of Britain.

  4. Illuminatus

    Very good – errors included
    In her latest book, Ms Borman attempts to cram a thousand years of British royal history into a mere 500 or so pages. In this, she is largely successful. The stories of the 41 monarchs that have reigned in Britain since William the Conqueror are presented in an understandably condensed but eminently readable and interesting fashion. Ms Borman is able to convey the turbulence and excitement of the early British monarchy, which frequently resulted in severe internal strife and wars that often pitted wife against husband, brother against brother and son against father. The violence of these times is illustrated by the depositions of several kings, which occasionally involved their murders, including their children.

    The continued coverage is equally fascinating, culminating with the current queen, who might just earn the distinction of the world’s longest reigning ruler.

    The necessarily abbreviated treatments of each monarch leave out enough detail to often confuse the unwary and most readers will find it essential to consult other sources to fill in the gaps.

    Ms Borman occasionally stumbles and the book reveals a lack of careful editing. She laughably uses the word “prevaricate” when she obviously meant “procrastinate.” She indicates that two of Edward III’s daughters died in 1260-61, which is unlikely as Edward III wasn’t born until 1312. She says that Edward III’s beloved queen died in 1269, forty-three years before he was born.

    Despite these inadequacies, this new book is vastly entertaining and informative and will delight anyone interested in surveying the history of a great monarchy.

  5. kp_artsy96

    A great overview of the British monarchy
    I love Tracy Borman’s documentaries and her books reflect her accessible speaking style. I love to read but struggle with attention deficit and can be easily distracted, not with this book. She keeps you engaged and gives you a great overview of each monarch, weaving each generations stories into the next so their chapters feel less separated like many reference-type books tend to feel. I did spot a few editing mistakes but nothing unforgivable. I always recommend Tracy Borman if you’re looking for a great read on British history.

  6. Lynn A Baumann

    Great Summary of English Royalty
    Great information on each each English monarch and their strengths and weaknesses. Easy to read as it is straight to the point.

  7. John Silas Hopkins III

    A Brief History of the British Monarchy
    A Brief History would be a more apt title despite the length of the book. A thousand years of history necessarily takes a lot of words; but this history is brief and concise. I purchased it to provide an overview that I didn’t receive in school. It provides exactly what I wanted — a bit about each Monarch from William the Conqueror through Elizabeth II. Only the chapter on Elizabeth II is a bit out of character — a lot of detail about the personal tribulations of the Royal Family. The other chapters provide enough information about each Monarch to let one decide about which, if any, to read more detailed histories. An excellent choice if this is what you are looking for.

  8. Joseph Monahan

    Almost everything I wanted.
    This book has kept my interest and I like it. I do think it skips over parts of the British monarchies points however but I also didn’t want to 4000 page book. I would recommend this.

  9. M

    Highly Recommend
    The book is very readable and provides good overviews of each monarch. The author explains key events in British history very well.

  10. John Bohnert

    Outstanding history of British monarchy
    I found this account of the British monarchy engrossing.

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