The French Monarchs Series

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Welcome to the detour looking at a "French Monarchs" series

The pages accessed from the link to a reconstructed French Monarchs series above attempt to compile a set of books which may have populated a Methuen, University of California Press, and Yale 'French Monarchs Series'. Included are:

* The one book released in the series.

* The three books, promised by Methuen and University of California, but which were cancelled to rise again with a different publisher.

* Books released from 1974 by any of the English Monarchs publishers which comply with the standards of an English Monarchs series book.

* Any other biography written by an author who produced a biography of a French king within the first three conditions, as these are likely to be repeat authors such as Charles Ross in the English Monarchs series.

A more fulsome list of English language biographies of French kings can be found here.

In 1974 Eyre Methuen (in the UK) and The University of California Press (in the United States) commenced a series called French Monarchs. It was to accompany the English Monarchs series by the same publishers which had commenced a decade earlier in 1964. The first book in the series followed the seventh English Monarchs book, Edward VI (1974) and seems to be an attempt by Methuen to enlarge their history list following the success of their first series. Seven books in ten years of high quality history books had given Methuen momentum and confidence to branch out in a new venture.

Unfortunately the series seems to have been terminated after the publication of the first book, Charles VII. On the rear cover of the dust jacket of that book were listed nine further studies, none of which were published in the “series”, although three of these studies were later issued by other publishers. The failure of the French Monarchs series co-incided with a lean time for further English Monarchs books; it was a further seven years before the eighth book in the series was published - Henry VI in 1981. Only four more books were published after Henry VI before Methuen abandoned the series, passing it on to Yale in the mid-1990s.

The following is a list of titles envisaged for the series, with a note on the fate of the three titles (beyond the first) which were published at a much later date:


by Dr. M.G.A Vale (1942-  )  University of York

    Published in 1974, first and last book in the series.


by Dr. A.V. Antonovics, University of Bristol*

    Not published


by Dr. A.V. Antonovics, University of Bristol*

    Not published


by Professor Robert Knecht (1926-  ) University of Birmingham

    Published by Cambridge University Press in 1982 - revised edition 2003


by Dr. David Buisseret (1934-  )  University of Texas

    Published by Unwin in 1984


by Professor A. Lloyd Moote (1931-2014)   University of Southern California

    Published by University of California in 1989


by Professor Ragnhild Hatton (1913-1995)   London School of Economics

    Not published


by Professor J.H. Shennan (1933-2015)   University of Lancaster

    Not published


by Professor Douglas Johnson (1925–2005)   University College London

    Not published


by Professor Douglas Johnson (1925–2005)   University College London

     Not published

*Dr. Anthony V. Antonovics was a colleague of Charles Ross, author of Edward IV and Richard III in the English Monarchs series. Both held academic posts at the University of Bristol. Ross recognised the assistance of Antonovics in the Acknowledgements page in both the Edward IV and Richard III books. In his own small way Dr. Antonovics is a contributor to the English Monarchs series.