Excluded Titles

19th Century                                                                                   Future Releases

James II (1948)

The nearest Eyre and Spottiswoode political biography found prior to the series is James II by F.C. Turner. This was published in 1948 and reprinted in 1950, quite a while before the coming of English Monarchs, but might well have been re-published into the series.

The origins of the series date back into the mid-1950s, some years before the first title in 1964. With that perspective, 1948 isn’t too far in the past for this title to be a contender. With the advantage of hindsight it would have been an excellent choice. A James II title wasn’t added to the series until Yale chose to reprint the 2nd. edition of John Miller’s eleven year old James II in 2000.

Caroline Robins, writing in the William & Mary Quarterly (Vol. 7, No. 1, 1950) praised this biography as “...required reading for students both of the English and American revolutions”, which provided “a factual basis for a host of fruitful reflections”. So in its time this was a respected biography.

This title is out of copyright and can be read or downloaded here from archive.org. Alternatively, it can be bought as a new book from Arkose Press via Amazon. This seems to be a print on demand order.

Buy a used copy from Amazon UK or ABE.

Buy the Arkrose Press version via Amazon

ISBN 9781346305783

(Arkose Press 2015 republication)

No ISBN - issued before ISBN scheme

ISBN 9780413269508

Philip II of Spain (1964)

1964 saw the publication by Eyre and Spottiswoode of the first English Monarchs title and also this biography of Phillip II by Sir Charles Petrie. I have noted that a new biography of this Spanish king by Geoffrey Parker was published by Yale in 2014. As I have included Parker’s title as a ‘Companion Title’ it seems reasonable to include this older title here as an early example of a biography of Phillip by the publisher of the series.

It may, however, be a disappointment. This book is reviewed by Albert J. Loomie in American History Review, Vol. 69 No. 3 (1964) who comments that this is a “...bland, dispassionate outlook” and that “...his treatment does not always offer the nuances that recent studies relevant to this work could add”. If it wasn’t up to the standard of 1964 then it is less useful fifty years on other than to note that it was issued by the English Monarchs publisher at the outset of the series.

Buy Philip of Spain from Amazon or ABE.

Richard II (1961)

Published by Eyre and Spottiswoode as ‘The Hollow Crown: The Life of Richard II’ by  Harold F. Hutchinson in 1961.

This title was published in the same year as ‘King John’ which was brought into the series by Yale in 1997. Richard was not to have an English Monarchs biography until Nigel Saul’s Yale biography, also in 1997. The Hollow Crown was reprinted in 1979 by Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Hutchinson has an unusual view of Richard II and is somewhat sympathetic to the king most regard as a tyrant. His aim is to assess Richard ignoring the “propaganda” of the Lancastrian kings.

Buy The Hollow Crown from Amazon or ABE.

Edward II (1971)

A third book by Harold F. Hutchinson was published by Eyre & Spottiswoode in 1971, nearly forty years before the series achieves a book on this king. Although the result in 2010 was a magnificent account of Edward, an early entry might have been had with this title.

Hutchinson has a sympathetic view of Edward, rather like Seymour Phillips in his book in the series, and argues that all the problems during Edwards reign cannot be blamed on the king alone. This was a less common view of Edward in 1971 and that should earn the book a read.

This book must have been in the last period of the publisher’s existence because at some point in the early 1970s it merged with Methuen.

Buy Edward II: The Pliant King from Amazon or ABE

Since posting the entries for the Harold F. Hutchinson titles some reviews and comments on his writing have been uncovered. His books are for the general reader and are not exhaustive academic texts. Today they might be seen as lightweight when compared to their namesake English Monarchs titles. The decades since their publication have gentled their condition. They will remain on this page for a glimpse of the past publishing history related to the main series.

In the very early years of the series Eyre & Spottiswoode published several titles which on face value could have been included in the series but were not. Other than the James II title these books were published as popular history for a general audience and not of English Monarchs standards. However, as they were originated from the same publishing house, Eyre & Spottiswoode, and issued during the early years of the English Monarchs books they have a close relationship to the series. It’s fascinating to think that in other hands these might have been very early entries in the series for these five kings, avoiding the long wait for their release by different authors three or four decades later. It also indicates the increased interest in biographical history on the part of the publisher, never a bad thing.

No ISBN - issued before ISBN scheme

No ISBN - issued before ISBN scheme

Henry V (1967)

Harold F. Hutchinson wrote a second book for Eyre & Spottiswoode which was published in 1967. Again, it was not included in the series. It was republished in 1990 by Dorset Press. Anne Curry in the Further Reading list in her new brief book on Henry V in the Penguin Monarchs series* describes the Hutchinson title  as lively but uncritical.

Christopher Allmand’s Henry V was published for the series by Methuen in 1992.

Buy Henry V from Amazon or ABE.

*Penguin Monarchs is a new series (2014-18) issued for readers new to English history. Each volume is about 100 pages long and describes the highlights of each reign from Æthelstan to Elizabeth II.

Two English Monarchs writers have contributed books: John Gillingham (William II), and Christopher Given-Wilson (Edward II).

These books are a great gift idea for young readers.