KINGS AND QUEENS OF BRITAIN by Frances Barnes-Murphy


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Subtitled ""A Victorian Mnemonic or Learning Verse,"" this rhyming genealogy of British monarchs was originally created to help people remember the order of the kings and queens of Britain. It may well reacquaint readers with the chronology of reigns of the British throne, but the presentation creates new confusions. Swashbuckling watercolor caricatures of English royalty accompany the verse, to which new lines have been added to bring the royal family up to date. The book ends with an impatient-looking Prince Charles and leaves out any mention of divorce, bulimia, or possible future queens. Brief biographies are supplemented with juicy factual tidbits about life in the monarch's time--e.g., during King James's reign, men's breeches and doublets were stuffed with a mixture of rags and bran called bombast. Sabotaging the information is the difficult-to-read, hand-lettered text, which mixes outlined and filled typefaces that have curled, swooping, and exaggerated serifs. Coupled with the swashes of transparent watercolor, the spreads may leave some readers feeling slightly cross-eyed, but a close inspection of the pages can be rewarding.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1996
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Pavilion--dist. by Trafalgar