Yale English Monarchs Series
A survey of the publishing history
of the Methuen and Yale history books
English Monarchs, currently published by Yale University Press, is a series of historical accounts of English or British kings and queens written by specialists in the period of the monarch. These books describe not only the life, actions and character of one monarch but examine the politics and history of that reign. They are the gold standard in historical research and writing. This site records the history of the history books.
Readers coming to English Monarchs in recent years may have thought that this is a series commenced by Yale University Press, but the English Monarchs series has its own history stretching back over fifty years. Yale is a relative newcomer to English Monarchs!
USING THIS WEBSITE - THE SEQUENCES OF BOOKS
Use the links at the top of every page to select the pages of prime importance. The main event is the collection of pages for each monarch and their book. Commence with the link at the top for the books. In the subsequent page you will get to choose a list of the books in three sequences as described in the next section below. Or if you can’t wait. The quickest way to get to any book is by using the link to the Main Book Page index which is linked at the foot of every page.
At the end of the tour you will find a page listing future releases and recommendations for reading which have been extracted from the individual pages for each book (these are also linked on the main list of books).
The history of the series itself will be found in the link at the top of every page for Series History. This includes a page for an overview, the authors and the publishers.
VIEWING THE BOOKS
To journey through the books you can navigate this website to look at the series in three ways:
• - to see the webpage for each monarch in succession, including those without a biography in the series. To fill these gaps books outside the series are nominated as alternatives.
• - to see the development of the English Monarchs series as it unfolded. All the books are listed at the series by date page, but note that using the links at the head of each page to the next book published in the series will progress you to the next title, but without visiting the pages for those monarchs for whom there is as yet no biography.
• - to see the original publication dates of all the books catalogued here, especially those not included in the series in their first printing. Readers should be aware that viewing the pages in the publishing order sequence from this page will not include the pages for books, such as Alfred the Great, which were promised but not delivered and you will miss these “almost but not quite” titles.
Each monarch has a book page. This page describes that volume, its basic bibliographic information, a statement of it’s origin, purpose, arguments, reception, notes on the cover art, and the like. Use the navigation links on each page to move “horizontally” through the books in sequence by monarch. You can also move “vertically” to the next book published in the series. For those monarchs with no book in the series the absence is noted and suggestions for alternative reading are made. Pages also exist for the Yale biographies of critical importance to the series books themselves: studies of consorts, regents, successors, contestants or those who shared the throne. This website is calling these titles 'Companion' books - titles to accompany the main series.
The page for each book has a series number based upon the order the title was added to the series, either by being a new title or one introduced into the series by being republished as a Yale edition of an existing title. This numbering system is an obvious invention for this website. It is a numbering scheme never employed in the series itself. We all order our English Monarchs bookshelf in chronological order, but you can never have too much bibliographic information.
On each page links are provided for further information on buying the books, and the publicity page for each title at Yale. Some further links are provided for non-series books where they have been suggested as substitutes for absent series books.
The links to Amazon are suggestions only and no rewards are received by this site for any subsequent purchase. For better or worse Amazon has become something of an international standard. Local online suppliers are just as useful but they can't all be listed. There are plenty of other virtual vendors and real stores to use. Readers are encouraged to shop around for cheaper or more convenient suppliers, particularly of used books which can usually be obtained more cheaply than new books.
Yale itself has an Internet store selling souvenirs, apparel, gifts and so on, though it would seem this is for delivery in the United States only. These items can be purchased from . For those visiting New Haven, the Yale store can be visited at 77 Broadway, York Square, New Haven, CT 06511. To acquire the English Monarchs series books use you favoured bookseller. Support the series by purchasing your copy of English Monarchs books.
English Monarchs readers who specialise in the Norman/Angevin period, or the Hundred Years' War will be more interested than most in the kings of France, a title given from Philip II of France onwards. It was Philip who is the earliest king of France rather than king of the Franks. Conveniently it's also where English language biographies of French kings commence.
A supplementary page has been prepared which is an attempt to collate known biographies of these kings in a bibliography similar to this site. What is clear is how well we are served by the English Monarchs books. Only fifteen of the French kings in this list, ranging from 1180 to 1792, are blessed with biographies in English while thirteen do not. French Monarchs can be accessed .
A similar page has been compiled for the kings and the (rare) queens of Scotland. This is a much shorter list as only scant records survive prior to the Twelfth Century, insufficient to construct a detailed account of a reign. Scottish Monarchs can be accessed .
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An illustration from The Historia Anglorium,attributed to Matthew Paris c.1250.
Shown are the kings Henry II, RIchard I, John and Henry III. Henry, the Young King is in the centre.
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The coronation of Henry III from the Chronicle of the kings of England from Edward the Confessor (1042–1066) to Edward I (1272–1307) held by the British Library.