Brief Lives of the Forty Monarchs since 1066
A short, lively and informative survey of the forty kings and queens of England, from the heroic to the hopeless and from William the Conqueror to the present, illustrated by Martin Rowson
‘Totally gripping – a factually accurate version of 1066 And All That’– Boris Johnson
Gimson’s Kings and Queens whirls us through the lives of our monarchs – from 1066 and William the Conqueror right up to Queen Elizabeth II and the present-day – to tell a tale of bastardy, courage, conquest, brutality, vanity, vulgarity, corruption, anarchy, absenteeism, piety, nobility, divorce, execution, civil war, madness, magnificence, profligacy, frugality, philately, abdication, dutifulness, family breakdown and family recovery.
Written in Andrew Gimson’s inimitable style, and illustrated by Martin Rowson, Gimson’s Kings and Queens is both a primer and a refresher for anyone who can't quite remember which were the good and bad Edwards or Henrys, or why so-and-so succeeded to the throne rather than his second cousin.
Gimson’s Kings and Queens is the most entertaining and instructive book on the English monarchy you will ever read.
Gimson's Prime Ministers was released in March 2018.
“This is the stuff of history lessons long ago, and long forgotten by most of us. Essentially Horrible Histories for grown-ups, splendidly enhanced by Martin Rowson’s typically scabrous portraits”
Marcus Berkmann, Spectator
“What is most valuable is the way this turns out to be the neatest and most revealing way to tell the story of this country. The chapter on Henry VIII, for example, is a masterpiece of vivid narrative, which somehow manages to dramatise, in ten pages, so many factors about why we are who we are”
Charles Moore, author of Margaret Thatcher, Telegraph
“Gimson's Kings and Queens is unfailingly entertaining and frequently moving. In addition, the monarchs are wonderfully caricatured in all their sneers and jowls by political cartoonist Martin Rowson”
Suzi Feay, London Magazine
“The most entertaining and instructive book on the English monarchy you will ever read”
“[An] entertaining romp through England’s monarchs… an amusing, quirky reminder of what older generations were taught at school. Gimson's Kings and Queens is the natural successor to Sellar and Yeatman's 1930 classic, 1066 and All That”
Tim Bouverie, Sunday Telegraph
“Our merry, muddled and miserly monarchs in all their eccentricity. Gimson reminds us that our royal history, especially that of our more forgotten rulers, is interesting. Curiosities stud the book”
Robbie Millen, The Times
“Clever and, in places, funny (of course), but also thoughtful, shrewd and humane: this is a gem of a book. I forget who it was that once wrote, in a review, “this book fills a much-needed gap”; but with Gimson’s Kings & Queens we can put the phrase back into its proper order”
Noel Malcolm, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and author of Agents of Empire
“A stylish, thoroughly good-humoured, sharply etched collection of pen portraits of our forty sovereigns from William the Conqueror to the present day. This is just the moment for a book of informed but entertaining guidance”
Lord Lexden, The House Magazine
“A fast-paced refresher with rococo detailing”
Sinclair McKay, Daily Telegraph
“A primer and refresher of facts, figures and anecdotes about our monarchy”
Keith Simpson, Dale & Co
“Stylish, thoroughly good-humoured, sharply etched collection.”
Lord Lexden, The House Magazine