• The little volumes of the 'Penguin Monarchs' series will be a matchless collection when completed. Already they provide a first-rate history of England, its monarchy and the effects of power on character. I've relished Anne Curry on Henry V, Stephen Alford on Edward V, David Womersley on James II and Roger Knight's William IV - but really there is not a dud among them.

    Richard Davenport-Hines, Spectator