Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 3 of HFB Round Table Event: Book Review and another GIVEAWAY!!

What an exciting week this is turning out to be! Today, Amy at Passages To The Past is interviewing me! I've also written a piece on Josephine's grandaughter...Josephine.

Today along with my Royal Book Review, I have a GIVEAWAY too...

BOOK REVIEW: ROYAL PANOPLY, Brief Lives of the English Monarchs, By Carolly Erickson

How wonderfully a-propos to have finished reviewing this book just in time for our Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event!

I’d love to start off this review by giving you an all-around basic idea about what the book is about, but there’s a lot more to this read than meets the eye. Unlike many of the other books that I enjoy for the pure pleasure of reading, Royal Panoply served much more than just this purpose.

Besides its impressive array of English monarchs beginning with William I all the way to Elizabeth II, this book features impressive details that go beyond simply describing royal lives, conquests and fates. Carolly Erickson takes into particular consideration the fact that it may be a reader’s first encounter with any or most of these royals. At the beginning of every new sovereign, the author minutely goes back into the life of his or her predecessor to work us up until the particular heir in question. It’s only when you’re reading and trying to keep track of this incredible genealogy that you come to appreciate this very necessary task so eloquently re-capped.

This sort of going back and then taking you forward into the history also helped me see the historical figure from different perspectives. This, added dimension to the characters, as well as the period highlighted. And, as we all have our favorites, it’s a special treat when you can read about each of these family dynasties in subsequent order. However, if you prefer to just pick, sort and choose who you’d like to read about, this book offers you the option of doing just that; it can be just as useful and interesting when read in no particular order. The author’s re-capping method at the beginning of every new chapter served that purpose wonderfully.

It is also possible to use this book as a reference manual when you want to look up a specific monarch, or simply for refreshing your memory while on a different book dealing with a particular historical figure. I was delighted to be able to use this book in precisely that way. I began by reading it through, but then found myself going back to it for reference and research purposes as well.

I should however point out that Royal Panoply does not qualify, in my opinion, as an all-around-in-depth bibliography of English monarchs- the obvious reasons being length, accuracies and misses that could not all be contained in one book. This is especially true when one considers the volumes that could (are-were) written for each one. That being said, it remains that this fabulous book is incredibly interesting and definitely a jumpstart to whetting your appetite for reading and learning more about the richness of the English monarchy…

Another added bonus- This is a book that never entirely leaves you; being a reference as well as a bibliography selection of sorts, it actually can remain open indefinitely…

Useful, interesting and a delight to read. A definite history buff must-have.
Beautiful photos as well.

For our Grand Event, I'm GIVING AWAY one copy of... ROYAL PANOPLY!

Contest Rules:

1 Chance: Leave a comment telling me who is your favourite English monarch.
2 Chances: Post about this on your blog, twitter…
3 Chances: Become a follower (You get this automatically if you’re already a follower)


1) This contest is open to Canada and US only
2) Locked or unavailable profiles are not eligible

Good Luck!

Also featured today:

- At The Burton Review:Kathy Lynn Emerson Guest Post & GIVEAWAY

- At, the Royal Heiress of the Day will be Lizzy with a Guest Post on Catherine Howard, The Rose With Out a Thorn- Arleigh also has a fantabulous GIVEAWAY!



A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Elizabeth I is one of my 'great'favorites.

Amanda N.

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

I am a follower.

Amanda N.

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

tweet tweet:

Amanda N.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness!! This looks awesome!! I hadn't heard of this book before and would love to read it! I'd have to say my favorite monarch would be Elizabeth I but Richard III is catching up fast!

I am a follower and I posted about it on my blog:

robinbird_79 AT hotmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

This looks like an excellent read - thanks for the chance and for bringing it to our attention.

I'm not sure she's my favourite, but I have a soft spot for Mary I.

martina_ck AT shaw DOT ca
Tweeting @FleurDeMar

Jennifer said...

Elizabeth I! Fantastic giveaway! Thank you!

Jennifer said...

I am indeed a follower. :)

Rachel said...

I'm going to have to say Henry VIII.

I'm a follower!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Please enter my name in your draw.
My favourite English monarch is Henry VIII.
I am a follower of your blog.

mzjohansen said...

I am a follower now (yeah!!)and would LOVE to be able to win this book !!
Hands down Elizabeth is my favorite monarch.Ever. Period. I would love to have been able to heard her voice.

Leslie Carroll said...

Hi, Lucy!

I'm a follower already, and just because I also write these sort of books it doesn't mean I don't love to read other authors' impressions of some of the royals I profile as well. Erickson's book sounds fascinating.

I adore Elizabeth I and Victoria, but I think my favorite English monarch is Charles II. Wouldn't you just love to wear the dresses from the Restoration!?

Leslie Carroll said...

Lucy, I just blogged about this contest over at

Evryone is welcome to visit!

Kim said...

I have an award for you -- just because :)

Lizzie said...

I want to read this one. I am reading her new fiction The memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots. I think it is good but a bit far fetched. I just can not resist a juicy love story.

Sue said...

My favorite is Elizabeth I, but I always love reading about her crazy dad, too.
Thanks for the giveaway.
s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Arleigh said...

I already have this book, so don't enter me. It is a great reference book and has a lot of full page images. I like the quote at the top of each new chapter describing the particular monarch.

Tudor Daughter said...

Oh please enter me in for this one as well.
I follow of course. I'm your groupie!!!

Luvdaylilies said...

I would really love to have a copy of this book, thanks for a chance to win a copy!
I am a follower=)
Luvdaylilies at Bellsouth dot net

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, oh boy!! This looks fabulous!!
I'm a follower.

martinack_75 AT hotmail DOT com

Gaby317 said...

Thank you for the entry! I join the others in choosing Queen Elizabeth - it's hard not to be fascinated by her.

gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

Heather Carroll said...

Ooo Elizabeth I of course! Always and forever!

Anonymous said...

I guess that would be queen elizabeth :)

karen k