TITLES WE WILL NOT SEE
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was listed as 'In Preparation' as late as 1989. It was to be written by Professor Dorothy Whitelock (Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge), a specialist in Anglo-Saxon England. However, she died in 1982 so the listing is curious. The book was never finished. It seems that the chance to have an Alfred biography in the series has passed. Æthelstan was the first king of all England and it’s probably asking too much to stretch a rule to include Alfred. Nevertheless, Yale if does eventually publish a study on Alfred the Great it will be noted here, even if it isn’t officially in the series.
Harold Godwinson is usually overlooked by the manner of his overthrow and his defeat by the Normans. By necessity any examination of the conquest will be also a biography of Harold. David Douglas’ ‘William the Conqueror’ and David Bates‘ book of the same name are definitive studies of both kings and for this reason a separate book on the short reign of Harold is not likely to be issued.
However, the well-regarded by Ian Walker is highly recommended as a substitute for a Yale text. It places the focus on Harold and the events in England in the years leading up to 1066. It still can be found in hardback at an affordable price.
FORTHCOMING ENGLISH MONARCHS SERIES TITLES
Yale announced in September 2019 via their website that this book by David Carpenter is to be published in May 2020 in the UK and June 2020 in the USA.
Simon Adams (Reader in History, University of Strathclyde) is mentioned as the author of ‘Elizabeth I’ for Yale. In October 2019 Yale UK updated the release date of Elizabeth I to October 2021.
James VI and I
Yale UK has posted in their online catalogue confirming these basic publication details and that it is an English Monarchs title, but without a date. It seems to be an orphan page with no easy point of access and does not appear in search results. Of the three titles we know about this is the only one which never had a release date. The presumption is that it will be the last of the three to see publication.
The latest Yale biographies which we are observing as worthy to compliment the English Monarchs series were the two titles released in 2019 - Matilda written by Catherine Hanley and Richard III written by Michael Hicks. No further Yale biographies of non-series kings, consorts or contestants or heirs have been announced.
George IV is the most recent monarch to have a biography in the series. After George IV and yet to be written are biographies of, in sequence, William IV; Victoria; Edward VII; George V; Edward VIII; George VI and Elizabeth II. There are convincing arguments that the series will not see biographies of the 20th Century monarchs, certainly not Elizabeth II, who is still living. Some government Cabinet papers are embargoed up to fifty years (others for a shorter period) and therefore not available for researchers. Records in private hands often find their way to library collections but also are put under embargo either for a period of time or while any nominated individual is still living. For these reasons alone the level of inquiry necessary for a successful Yale biography is thwarted.
However there are some gaps to fill for earlier monarchs. Of the remaining six unpublished reigns, Henry III, Elizabeth I and James VI & I are known to be in various stages of preparation. Therefore only three reigns are lacking a biographer: the two Charles’ and William & Mary.
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