The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066-2011 by Alison Weir, Kate Williams, Sarah Gristwood and Tracy Borman
|The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066-2011 by Alison Weir, Kate Williams, Sarah Gristwood and Tracy Borman|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A brief and easily read history of nearly a thousand years of royal weddings. Lavish illustrations.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: March 2011|
The Ring and the Crown is a look at almost a thousand years of royal weddings, at how they've changed and how, in many ways, they've remained the same. Generally the weddings are of kings, queens or heirs to the throne but sometimes there's a glimpse of how the minor royals have managed their nuptials. The book is lavishly illustrated and is probably as un-put-downable as anything which is basically a history book.
Here at Bookbag we normally go to great lengths to avoid film tie-ins and books which are 'of the moment'. Later this month there's something quite big to do with royal weddings happening in Westminster Abbey and it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that it might not have been published at quite this time were that not the case – but it's well worth reading for several reasons. The authors are the History Girls – women historians who have the ability to make their subject absolutely riveting.
Alison Weir tells us about the Medieval, Tudor and Stuart periods, ably avoiding falling into the trap of spending too much time on Henry VIII, whose six weddings could have filled a book of their own. Kate Williiams takes up the baton as we move on to the Georgians and Victorians. Sarah Gristwood brings us almost up-to date with the weddings from the end of the first world war up to the wedding of Princess Margaret in 1960. Finally, Tracy Borman brings us up to the present day as she mines a rich seam of marriage, scandal and divorce which has had more press coverage than would ever have been possible in years gone by.
It is very easy reading. I don't mean 'for a history book' – I mean for any book, so if you're interested in the subject but have been put off by the thought that such books are always a little academic then forget your reservations. It's rather like listening to an old friend telling you a good story. Enjoy.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For a little light relief on the subject of royal weddings we can recommend To Marry A Prince by Sophie Page and if you're interested in the research that Sophie did before she wrote the novel have a look at Research? But it's Only a Romantic Novel!
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