The Friday 56: The Rough Guide to the Royals

Having been back in school for two full months already, my bookish habits have certainly changed. Despite my teacher telling my class we would have no time to read (who does he think we are?!), I’ve been picking up a wide variety of books (all at the same time, and taking a long time to finish them – aka not finishing them). I’ve been especially drawn to some non-fiction books for the first time; courtesy of my shelving job at the public library. Which is exactly where today’s Friday 56 comes from!

A refresher on the rules, as detailed by our host, Freda’s Voice:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

The Rough Guide to the RoyalsRough Guide to The Royals
Published by Rough Guides in 2012, 280 pgs.

An excerpt on King Louis I of England (“Reigned for one year, forgotten for many more.”):

One name that tends to get missed off the roll call of English kings is Louis I (son of King Phillip II of France and himself the future Louis VIII), lorded it as King of England for a full year before giving way to Henry III. His successful invasion of England in 1216 rarely gets a mention in the school history books, though it provides the main plot of Shakespeare’s seldom-performed play King John … Louis’s [sic] claim to the throne was pretty tenuous (his wife was one of Henry II’s granddaughters), but he had been invited over by the English barons, who’d had enough of King John reneging on the promises he’d made when signing the Magna Carta the previous year… By October King John was seriously on the run, famously losing the crown jewels at high tide in the Wash, and dying of dysentery (and a surfeit of peaches and cider) a few days later. Paradoxically, King John’s death did for Louis, too – with King John gone, the rebellious barons had no more need for Louis. John’s nine-year-old son was hastily crowned King Henry III using some of his mother’s  jewellery.  [Louis I went on to gain 10,000 marks in exchange for agreeing he had never been the legitimate King of England.]

Pretty dry, right? This book definitely takes some time to get through, though I find it incredibly interesting. The guide covers a variety of topics, gives a summary of the all the members of the Windsor family, and answers the numerous questions  about what goes on and why.


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