The Chapter of Kings
Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Poor Edward the Fifth was young killed in his bed
By his uncle, Richard, who was knocked on the head
By Henry the Seventh, who in fame grew big
And Henry the Eighth, who was fat as a pig!
By the time "Mr. Collins" had written this verse, George III, the King of England, had been noticeably missing for seven years—having spent much of the time in his final period of illness at Windsor Castle—and the country had forever lost its American colonies. For many English citizens this dismal period was considered to be the beginning of the end for the British monarchy. The Chapter of Kings, offered here in a facsimile edition, provides a good deal of illustration to that effect.
For the first time since 1818, these charming verses, which were written for children but remain a biting satire ofthe British monarchy, are available for our edification and amusement, each accompanied by hand-drawn "portraits" of England's kings, from Caesar through George, the prince and future king.
Written and illustrated with a keen sense of irony, The Chapter of Kings is a fascinating peek, both for children and parents, into nineteenth-century attitudes toward the royals.