Measuring Monarchy: The most overrated and underrated British Kings and Queens
Tim Hames

Measuring Monarchy: The most overrated and underrated British Kings and Queens

There are many, many books on individual British monarchs, the vast majority of which reach some kind of conclusion as to the merits of the individual concerned. They are also a sizeable number of volumes which focus on monarchs during a particular period, such as the “War of the Roses”, or for a certain dynasty, “Tudors” or “Stuarts”, which usually include an element of assessment of the monarchs discussed. There are a smaller number of tomes which take on a much larger swathe of history through the stories of those sat on the throne, but which, although there may be some commentary on their quality, are meant to be general history.


Measuring Monarchy is different to all of the above in the following critical respects.


It puts forward, explains and make the case for five comparative metrics for all UK monarchs:


  • Their professional standing in relation to other significant institutions of the state (or, put differently, what did their contemporary elites think of the monarch in question).
  • Their popular standing with broader public opinion as far as this can be determined.
  • Their impact on the public finances (did they leave the Treasury richer or poorer?).
  • Their conduct of foreign policy not only in warfare but also in conducting diplomacy.
  • Their preparations for the succession after them.


It focuses primarily on those monarchs who have been overrated or underrated in status (although there is a chapter on Elizabeth II which contends that she has been fairly rated).


It makes the case that many of the best-known monarchs in English/British history are, in fact, massively overrated when measured against objective criteria. These are William I (the Conqueror), Richard I, Henry V, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, William III (of Orange) and Victoria.


It sets out why seven other, comparatively anonymous, monarchs should have a far higher standing than they do. These are Stephen, Henry II, Edward III, Henry VII, Anne, William IV and Edward VII, all of whom do far better against the measures for monarchy established.


It offers a concluding chapter that might act as a guide as to how future monarchs must act.


Measuring Monarchy provides a completely original outlook as to how to analyse British Kings and Queens and throws a revisionist Molotov Cocktail into our historical thinking. It will attract enormous attention, controversy and debate not merely among those who specialise in history but a much broader audience finding themselves asked to revisit the caricatures of monarchs with which they have offered for most of their lives and ignite media argument. It will be of appeal not only within the UK but to anyone globally intrigued by our monarchy.




Book Details:

  • Author: Tim Hames
  • On Submission
  • All rights are available
Tim Hames

Tim Hames

Tim Hamess has been an academic, a Lecturer in Politics at Oxford University (1989-1996) with a specialism in American politics (his doctorate was on the Republican Party) and British Government, but who also taught Western European politics and international relations.   He was then a journalist becoming an Assistant Editor of The Times serving as the chief leader writer, a political columnist and acting editor of the newspaper on multiple occasions.   He then entered the business community becoming the Director General of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Associ...
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