Authors > A Royal Roundup

Over the years we’ve published a number of books on royals. From the truly regal to the abominably rakish, from the responsible and respectable to the ramshackle, rambunctious and rapscallion, our authors have covered a wide range of royals from historical and psychological perspectives. Here we present a roundup of some of these highly readable accounts – all of them a tribute to the enduring fascination with royalty, their triumphs, failings and foibles, and how these reflect both general and particular aspects of human nature.

Playboy Princes The Playboy Princes by Peter J. Beer is subtitled The Apprentice Years of Edward VII and Edward VIII and illuminates the lives of Queen Victoria’s eldest son Edward VII, and his grandson Edward VIII, the present Queen’s uncle. Born in different eras, a comparison of the early and middle years of  both Edwards shows how their time as Princes of Wales and kings-in-waiting informed their later years on the throne. Both had an upbringing characterised dogmatic prescription and the weight of obligation. As Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841-1910) filled the void in his life with shallow interests, profligacy and the delights of Parisian nightlife. The future Edward VIII (1894-1972) took a jaundiced view of matters of state and preferred dance floors, riding to hounds, and the ministrations of lovers. The Playboy Princes provides often unexpected perspectives on two public figures better known through the history of their respective reigns. An entertaining read, the book also resonates with the lives of later Princes of Wales and future monarchs. To order from AmazonUK, click here: The Playboy Princes.

Prinny and His Pals Tom AmbrosePrinny and His Pals – The Life of George IV is Tom Ambrose’s biography of the son of ‘Mad King’ George III. Commonly seen as a weak, selfish and incompetent spendthrift, Ambrose has uncovered new details on ‘Prinny’ that suggest that, for all his faults, George IV just may have been the most humane and amusing of all British monarchs, notwithstanding his love of the high life. Central to the story is the vast array of friends that populate a remarkable reign as Prince Regent and King. If Prinny, as they knew him, was so grotesquely foolish, how did he amass such a fascinating (and loyal) group of friends?  This warm, funny and affectionate portrait displays George at his very best: delighting some of the finest minds of his generation, easily winning over his subjects and his family, as well as treating his lovers with care and concern. To order from AmazonUK, click here: Prinny and His Pals – The Life of George IV.

friedman-inheritanceInheritance is the late Dennis Friedman’s Psychological History of the Royal Family. Extensively revised just before its author’s death, Inheritance caused a furore on its first publication. An eminent and respected psychiatrist and former GP, Dr Dennis Friedman had a special interest in how parenting affects adult behaviour and psychology. In the book, Dr Friedman traces back the many problems of the current Royal family to Queen Victoria’s nursery, unveiling a host of psychodramas played out against a privileged background of English palaces and Scottish castles. This enlarged and fully updated edition was the last work of its author Dr Dennis Friedman who died at the age of 90 shortly after publication. As the royal line is followed down the generations, no direct descendant is overlooked, no issue is sidestepped, and in exploring Royal dynamics Inheritance sheds light on problems found in any family. To order from AmazonUK, click here: Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family.

strachan-emma-twice-crowned-queenEmma The Twice-Crowned Queen – England in the Viking Age by Isabella Strachan is a study of the life of Emma of Normandy (c. 985-1052). The first mediæval queen depicted in contemporary portraiture, Emma first married Æthelred the Unready, King of the English, and bore him children that included Prince Edward (later to become Edward The Confessor), Ælfred Ætheling, and a daughter Goda (or Godiva). As Queen, Emma became a wealthy land-owner and wielded considerable power.  When Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard invaded and conquered England in 1013, Emma fled until Sweyn’s death in 1014. Following Æthelred’s death in 1016, Emma married Sweyn Forkbeard’s son King Knut (Canute), providing him with a son Harthacnut, and giving legitimacy to the Danish conquerors.  Harthacnut later became King of England for two years from 1040, sharing the throne with his half-brother Edward the Confessor. Emma played a significant – and perhaps equal – role in their reign as mother to both kings.  Isabella Strachan teases out the story of this extraordinary woman from the historical sources, bringing readability and life to the dynastic complexities of the story. To order from AmazonUK, click here: Emma The Twice-Crowned Queen.


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