Debrett's Kings and Queens of Europe

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Salem House, 1988 - History - 208 pages
2 Reviews
Portraits of Europe's monarchs who have shaped the course of history from the middle ages to the present, dynasty by dynasty and kingdom by kingdom.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MDTLibrarian - LibraryThing

This book provides an overview of the kings and queens who have reigned in the various European countries. The volume is arranged geographically with chapters by European region moving generally west ... Read full review

Review: Debrett's Kings and Queens of Europe

User Review  - Matthew Ellis - Goodreads

Well written, pretty well organized, good reference for learning about the important past European monarchs. Could be less dry, but if using it for self education, works pretty well. Read full review


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About the author (1988)

The author of 15 plays, as well as numerous screen and television scripts, David Williamson is certainly Australia's most prolific playwright. He is also the country's most popular dramatist and the one best known abroad. Finally, most critics and general theatergoers would agree that he is the best playwright Australia has produced so far. Although his screenplays move into areas outside Australia, the plays remain fixed in his native land. Always well received in Australia, they have also been successful in Europe and the United States. Williamson's greatest achievement, then, lies in the way he makes universal that experience peculiar to Australians. Born in a small town near Melbourne, Williamson did not appear destined for a theatrical career. While majoring in engineering in college, he began writing for campus productions, and soon turned to a career as a playwright. Not particularly experimental, each play is marked by firm structure, exact sense of place, vivid language, satire, and comedy. These elements cohere to reveal believable characters facing often ordinary conflicts. Their responses are sometimes mundane and muddled, and rarely does a resolution take place. Among his works of the 1970s, The Removalists (1971) uses techniques of theater of cruelty. The plot revolves around police violence against individuals as a metaphor for gratuitous violence in society. Don's Party (1971) reveals the public and personal frustrations of a group of professional men and women at an election day party. In The Coming of Stork, a group of educated, urban young men and women seek their places in the social structure. The adverse role the Vietnam War played in Australian society is depicted in Jugglers Three, while What If You Died Tomorrow dramatizes the effect of fame on marriage and family relationships. Later plays include Travelling North (1980), The Perfectionist (1982), Sons of Cain (1985), Emerald City (1987), and Top Silk (1990). Williamson has addressed a number of themes, many relevant to Australian society and to cultures in other parts of the world. Yet his plays are never didactic; they entertain first, and then challenge the viewer. Insisting that his work is naturalistic, Williamson does indeed create a very real picture of life. Always, though, the reality is tempered by comedy and by a sympathetic attitude toward the characters inhabiting the imaginary world of the stage---a world in which viewers at times see themselves and their own foibles exposed.

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