Collection: History & Politics: Monarchy

A monarchy is a form of government in which a single individual holds all the power in government.

In history, the absolute monarchy was the apex in the pyramid of power and influence. Although the monarch claimed complete autocratic authority by virtue of blood, the monarchy was only fully secured by the presence of a supportive aristocracy and a stable, established church.


If this intrigues you, as it did for us, hop onto the new ambitious series we are introducing called the Penguin Monarchs.


They are biographies of every English monarch from Athelstan (crowned in 924) all the way up to Elizabeth II (1952), charting the shifting balance of power as different dynasties rose and fell from prominence.

Every sovereign gets their own short book (including Oliver Cromwell) packed full of everything you need to know about their life and reign.

Each book will reveal the inner workings of governments, dynasties, royalty, and how the world works.
32 products
  • Charles II (Penguin Monarchs): The Star King by Clare Jackson
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  • Henry VI (Penguin Monarchs) by James Ross
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  • Edward II (Penguin Monarchs): The Terrors of Kingship by Christopher Given-Wilson
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  • William IV (Penguin Monarchs): A King at Sea by Roger Knight
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  • William II (Penguin Monarchs): The Red King by John Gillingham
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  • Edward VII (Penguin Monarchs): The Cosmopolitan King by Richard Davenport-Hines
    Edward VII (Penguin Monarchs): The Cosmopolitan King by Richard Davenport-Hines - Empire Book Store | Authentic Books in Cheap Prices
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  • Elizabeth II (Penguin Monarchs): The Steadfast by Douglas Hurd
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  • Richard II (Penguin Monarchs): A Brittle Glory by Laura Ashe
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  • Henry VIII (Penguin Monarchs): The Quest for Fame by John Guy
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  • George I (Penguin Monarchs): The Lucky King by Tim Blanning
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  • Henry III (Penguin Monarchs): A Simple and God-Fearing King by Stephen Church
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  • Elizabeth I (Penguin Monarchs): A Study in Insecurity by Helen Castor
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  • Richard I (Penguin Monarchs): The Crusader King by Thomas Asbridge
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  • James I (Penguin Monarchs): The Phoenix King by Thomas Cogswell
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  • Stephen (Penguin Monarchs): The Reign of Anarchy by Carl Watkins
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  • James II (Penguin Monarchs): The Last Catholic King by David Womersley
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  • George V (Penguin Monarchs): The Unexpected King by David Cannadine
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  • William III & Mary II (Penguin Monarchs): Partners in Revolution by Jonathan Keates
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  • Oliver Cromwell (Penguin Monarchs): England's Protector by David Horspool
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  • Mary I (Penguin Monarchs): The Daughter of Time by John Edwards
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  • Edward III (Penguin Monarchs): A Heroic Failure by Jonathan Sumption
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  • Edward I (Penguin Monarchs): A New King Arthur? by Andy King
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  • Henry II (Penguin Monarchs): A Prince Among Princes by Richard Barber
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  • William I (Penguin Monarchs): England's Conqueror by Marc Morris
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  • Henry V (Penguin Monarchs): From Playboy Prince to Warrior King by Anne Curry
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  • Edward VI (Penguin Monarchs): The Last Boy King by Stephen Alford
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  • Edward VIII (Penguin Monarchs): The Uncrowned King by Piers Brendon
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  • Athelstan (Penguin Monarchs): The Making of England by Tom Holland
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  • Victoria (Penguin Monarchs): Queen, Matriarch, Empress by Jane Ridley
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  • Cnut (Penguin Monarchs): The North Sea King by Ryan Lavelle
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  • Aethelred the Unready (Penguin Monarchs): The Failed King by Richard Abels
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  • John (Penguin Monarchs): An Evil King? by Nicholas Vincent
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