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This website acknowledges the Wurundjeri people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which the site is written and also pays respect to the elders past, present, and emerging.
The English Monarchs Series Survey website grew from an interest in the series in general and its growth in particular. Your website builder entered the fray early on in the series. He often wondered how it commenced and continued with such a slow addition to the canon.
Methuen, the original publisher, displayed a half-hearted attitude to the series in the 1970s and 1980s. They were, to say the least, equivocal about adding titles and it ran out of puff. It was the readership’s great fortune that Yale UK, under the leadership at the time of Robert Baldock, took up the challenge to modernise and reinvigorate the English Monarchs books.
In these early Yale titles and reissues of older Methuen titles many clues were given about the thirty-odd years of books to that point. Notes in a spreadsheet about aspects of each book and author grew into separate documents on a computer and finally a basic website. It was easier to have it on the Internet in a linkable format than to have the same information scattered in various documents and formats.
Having established the website it expanded to accommodate the various aspects of book production in a long-running series. It was assumed that readers of these books also have interests in many other fields of history (as well as literature, film, and so on) so comments were added in the wider field of history book publication in general.
One problem of presenting the information was the concept of continuity; should it be a procession of monarchs or a sequential tour of each new book in the series from the first to the most recent? Thinking around corners is a skill learned in studying history and the arts so the answer to this question was - neither. Instead, both options would be offered and, as it happened, an additional tour of the books by publishing date which, as you shall discover, is not the same thing as date added to the series.
The research turned up some curious moments in the series such as the failed attempt at a parallel French Monarchs series, and the revelation of the addition of a few already published titles in the early years of Yale’s ownership of the series. Also discovered were further related books issued by Yale which were worthy of note if not inclusion in the series itself. An arbitrary title was given to these books which has been called ‘Companion’ books.
The growth of the website can be summarised in the version number list below:
1.0 - 15 April 2015: First version written on iWeb. It went live and with its own email address on existing personal domain name. The pages were basic but the format and arrangement of information on the book pages was much the same as today. The current site has inherited the arrangement of text, images and information from the first iteration.
2.0 - 18 April 2017: Updated look with wider pages and more spaced out text and menu arrangement, more links and extra information. Neater text and arrangement of images.
3.0 - 1 October 2019: EverWeb version with addition of peer reviews, description of cover art and news blog page.
3.1 - 8 October 2019: New domain name. The site was migrated to monarchsbookseries.com
4.0 - 28 August 2020: Fresh new look with a cleaner minimalistic approach.
4.1 - 1 September 2020: Rearrangement of menu items in main links pages for landscape orientation rather than the old list in portrait orientation.
4.2 - 1 October 2020: Addition of the About and the Contents pages and a better Timeline page.
4.3 - 29 August 2021: Addition of the Audiobooks page and the new Cromwell "Companion Book" biography.
4.4 - 9 May 2022: Changed information on a new James VI & I biography regarding the termination of work on the book, and the consequential amendment of links throughout the site. Additon of a prominent note regarding the retirement of the first two series books. Simplification of the book plate for each title.
4.5 - 23 November 2022: Added a page of commentry about the changing style of covers throughout the series and with corrections to the images of the 1970s Methuen book covers.
4.6 - 23 December 2022: Added an important navigation page to the site where readers can use icons to get to the pages bearing that icon.
4.7 - 22 May 2023: Added the Icon View page to the header links for every page.
Incremental version numbers increase with the addition of extra pages of significance
New version numbers indicate changes for a new look or other significant changes (eg. software).
This website is created and written in Melbourne, Australia using Canadian software (EverWeb) based in Toronto, Canada and uses a hosting service in Shoreview, Minnesota, USA (MacHighway) who uses servers in Buffalo, New York, USA.
Click on the envelope to email your comments.