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Unruly

Unruly

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Author: Mitchell, David

A rollicking history of England's earliest kings and queens, a story of narcissists, excessive beheadings, middle-management insurrection, uncivil wars, and more, from award-winning actor and comedian David Mitchell

Think you know the kings and queens of England? Think again.

In Unruly, British actor and comedian David Mitchell explores how early England’s monarchs, while acting as feared rulers firmly guiding their subjects’ destinies, were in reality a bunch of lucky bastards who were mostly as silly and weird in real life as they appear today in their portraits.

Taking us back to King Arthur (spoiler: he didn’t exist), Mitchell tells the founding story of post-Roman England up to the reign of Elizabeth I (spoiler: she dies). It’s a tale of narcissists, inadequate self-control, excessive beheadings, middle-management insurrection, uncivil wars, and a few Cnuts, as the English evolved from having their crops stolen by the thug with the largest armed gang to bowing and paying taxes to a divinely anointed king.

How this happened, who it happened to, and why the hell it matters are all questions that Mitchell answers with brilliance, wit, and the full erudition of a man who once studied history—and won’t let it off the hook for the mess it’s made. 

A funny book that takes history seriously, Unruly is for anyone who has ever wondered how the British monarchy came to be—and who is to blame.