80 color plates
6 x 9
What role did books play in the lives of English monarchs and their families? Besides Alfred the Great, Edward IV, Henry VIII, and George III, which kings and queens appreciated books and amassed enormous libraries full of them? This well-illustrated volume presents a fresh and wide-ranging review of the evidence for royal interest in handwritten and printed books. Leading experts offer new perspectives on the involvement of England’s monarchs in the circulation and preservation of texts from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Some essays consider individual books or monarchs; others take a wider view of several centuries of evidence. At the heart of the volume is the remarkable array of royal books held by the British Library, including the Old Royal Library, presented to the nation by George II, and the King’s Library, presented by George IV. Illustrated in color throughout, 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts will appeal to anyone fascinated by the British monarchy as well as the country’s rich and extensive literary history.