I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Review: The Royals by Leslie Carroll

the royals

The Royals by Leslie Carroll
Hardcover, 176 pages
September 22, 2011

goodreads button

Genre: Non-Fiction, Coffee Table Book

Source: Personal Collection

Since the Middle Ages, the lavish world of the English monarchy has fascinated the public. The Royals: The Lives and Loves of the British Monarchs uncovers the most colorful characters ever to wear the crown, from William the Conqueror, the Norman duke who invaded and took England as his own, to William of Wales, the second in line to the modern throne. Nearly 1,000 year of the British rulers are chronicled, including the notorious kings and queens of the Tudor dynasty, up to the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Beautifully illustrated, this visual history brings the royal family to life.  Includes removable reproductions of:

  • letters from Henry VIII's wives
  • the execution warrant for Mary, Queen of Scots
  • a ticket to Queen Victoria's Jubilee Ball
  • Edward VIII's official letter of abdication
  • the wedding program for Charles and Diana
  • and the official invitation to William and Kate's wedding

I picked up this book because I was interested in the reproductions that would be included. I knew most of the facts that were included in this book, but it is more of a coffee-table book rather than a deep non-fiction read.

I thought there was a great selection of members of the British royal family; while not every person is included, all of the time periods are represented here. Even though there were royals who were skipped, they were usually mentioned to some extent in either the preceding or succeeding chapters. I also enjoyed the fact that the modern royals were included, which are usually skipped over in chronologies.

The reproductions included were fun and it was exciting to look at each one. I appreciated the transcriptions of some of the documents because the handwriting was atrocious. I also would have liked something from any of the royals before Anne Boleyn as they didn’t appear until about halfway through the book and that was the purpose I purchased the book for.

I thought that the images were very nice reproductions which would look great on the coffee-table. Overall I found this book to be a quick, enjoyable experience and would recommend it to fans of the British royals.

Author Leslie Carroll also has written several other non-fiction books: Royal Affairs, Notorious Royal Marriages, Royal Pains, and Royal Romances. You can visit Leslie’s website for more information.

My reviews of other books by this author:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

This book is a Barnes & Noble exclusive.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Thanks for the lovely review, Heather! Just as an FYI, I had nothing to do with choosing the illustrations in the book or with the selection of the cool facsimiles of the historical material. I didn't know until the manuscript was delivered to the editor what she and her image editor (who is credited at the back of the book) would end up selecting. Apparently, a lot had to do with what they were able to license. I'm very glad you enjoyed THE ROYALS, and thank you again for the review!

    1. That is so interesting! I know that authors don't have a lot of say regarding covers, photos, etc. I think the biggest shock at HNS was how much say Barnes & Noble has regarding the cover art selection! Thanks for the extra info. The book was an enjoyment - each new artifact like opening a new present.


Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!