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£12.99
Published
4 October 2022
HB
9781910400883
Ebook
Press Release
Coming soon.
By Stephen Bates:

 

Amidst the turbulence and invasions, upheaval and dissent that characterise British history, one thing has remained remarkably stable. Although there are other monarchies, Britain’s Crown stands out due to the continuity of its traditions, and its ability to adapt.

There’s a reason why schoolchildren still learn about the Kings and Queens: it’s their power struggles and subtle compromises that have shaped the nation we inhabit today. When members of the Royal family go on ‘walkabouts’, they do so because monarchs stretching back to King Alfred understood the need to be seen by their subjects, and the dire consequences of remaining aloof (or abroad). When they give interviews, or accept taxes, they do so as part of a long series of engagements with other, almost-equally powerful operators: Church, Parliament, the nobility.

In this sprightly commentary on the Crown’s 1,800-year-long story, Stephen Bates provides a dazzling insight into Royal custom and ritual, whilst depicting the individuals behind the myth with compassion and wit. And
as our ageing Queen prepares to pass the baton, he asks us all to consider: could we ever do without the Crown?

Old Street Publishing The Shortest History of The Crown

Amidst the turbulence and invasions, upheaval and dissent that characterise British history, one thing has remained remarkably stable. Although there are other monarchies, Britain’s Crown stands out due to the continuity of its traditions, and its ability to adapt.

There’s a reason why schoolchildren still learn about the Kings and Queens: it’s their power struggles and subtle compromises that have shaped the nation we inhabit today. When members of the Royal family go on ‘walkabouts’, they do so because monarchs stretching back to King Alfred understood the need to be seen by their subjects, and the dire consequences of remaining aloof (or abroad). When they give interviews, or accept taxes, they do so as part of a long series of engagements with other, almost-equally powerful operators: Church, Parliament, the nobility.

In this sprightly commentary on the Crown’s 1,800-year-long story, Stephen Bates provides a dazzling insight into Royal custom and ritual, whilst depicting the individuals behind the myth with compassion and wit. And
as our ageing Queen prepares to pass the baton, he asks us all to consider: could we ever do without the Crown?

12.99
 
 

‘There have been scores of books about the monarchy but few, if any, as fearless and perceptive as this is… Bates tells it like it is, covering every aspect with rare humour and intelligence. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.’
Literary Review on Royalty, Inc.

 
 
  • ‘A superb account of how “the Firm” (Windsors rather than Krays) became “Britain’s best-known brand”’
    Spectator Book of the Year on Royalty, Inc.
  • ‘Totally engrossing, winningly affectionate… What a wise and cheeky way to explore the secrets of our gracious Queen.’
    Robert Lacey, author of Monarchy
  • Meticulously researched … a gloriously engaging romp revolving around a knotty case that boasts all the ingredients a crime fiction fan could hope for.
    Janice Hallet, Sunday Times on The Poisonous Solicitor
  • 'Compelling… There will surely be more books on this fascinating case, but it'll be hard to beat this one'
    The Literary Review on The Poisonous Solicitor
  • 'A meticulously researched, gripping true crime book'
    Western Mail on The Poisonous Solicitor
  • 'Immersive and compelling, The Poisonous Solicitor works at every level: as human drama, as an evocative slice of social and legal history, above all as a lucid and dispassionate presenting of the evidence about a century-old puzzle.'
    David Kynaston on The Poisonous Solicitor
  • 'Marital disharmony, spare arsenic in the house, a premature death, the suspicions of nosey neighbours – all leading to the judge putting on the "Black Cap". Have you ever imagined you might find yourself sitting in judgement over a murder trial? Stephen Bates' gripping narrative takes you right inside one of the classic court cases of the 20th century. His page-turner lays out all the evidence for you to examine, so you feel you are actually up there on the bench – presiding over the dramatic trial of the only solicitor ever to be hanged in England. Guilty or innocent? You decide.'
    Robert Lacey on The Poisonous Solicitor
  • 'A careful and compelling reconstruction of one of the most infamous murder trials of the twentieth century. Stephen Bates excels at contrasting the claustrophobia of small-town life with the grisly details which make the story still so notorious, a century on.'
    Kate Morgan on The Poisonous Solicitor
  • 'Stephen Bates puts us in the middle of an extraordinary trial for murder, when one life and many reputations were at stake. It was gripping then and fascinating now, with a shocking sting in the tale. You will read it in one sitting.'
    Marc Mulholland on The Poisonous Solicitor
 
 
Stephen Bates

Stephen Bates is an award-winning author and journalist, with over 45 years’ experience on various national titles. Most recently, he was Royalty and Religious Affairs correspondent for the Guardian. His previous books include The Poisonous Solicitor (2022) and Royalty, Inc. – Britain’s Best Known Brand (2015).