The Bottom Line
- Includes many more monarchs than usual - greater breadth.
- Cheap compared to specialist lists of early monarchs.
- Factual inaccuracies and opinions presented as fact.
- 808 pages, plus introduction and index.
- Published by Constable Robinson, 1999.
- Originally published as 'British Monarchs' in 1998 by Robinson.
Guide Review - The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens by Mike Ashley
Monarchs have an entry summarising their life and achievements, ordered geographically within a larger chronological breakdown; this can be difficult to use if you're not sure when or where your subject lived, but there's an index, something reference works occasionally lack. There are also maps, family-trees, a summary of European monarchs, a rather limited gazetteer and some 'lists'. The latter are the book's weakest feature: while 'The Longest Reigning Monarchs' is safe, anyone citing the highly opinionated 'Monarchs who were or may have been Homosexual' is going to get in trouble. Indeed, readers should be wary of every fact in this book until they've cross-referenced it elsewhere. So why four stars? Getting all these monarchs, real or otherwise, into one book is a major achievement that's produced a very useful general reference at a cheap price.