Author David Maislish has another perspective in his new book, Assassination, The Royal Family’s 1000 Year Curse, which demonstrates that British monarchs over the past millennium have been victims of an endless array of plots, counterplots and funeral plots.
It evolved from the seed of an idea. “I decided to write about the 11 monarchs we all know had been killed,” says Maislish. “Hoping to find more, my research suggested that another 12 may have been killed.”
The concept became increasingly intriguing for Maislish as he dug ever deeper “leading to the discovery that someone had indeed tried to kill all the others but it was just that they had been lucky enough to escape assassination.”
Assassination is the result of four years of painstaking research by Maislish, studying hundreds of books in the evenings and writing on weekends and holidays. The result is a fascinating examination of the British monarchy that we never studied in school, filled with intrigue, rivalries, quests for power and greed.
Little wonder the Brits have such an affinity for a good mystery. It’s in their blood, so to speak. It might even be the origin of the term “bloody good.”
One of the unexpected pleasures of Maislish’s work is the added inclusion of numerous anecdotes which bring the stories of the monarchs to life and make for interesting dinner conversation. Such enthralling tidbits as the use of the fork or the origins of croissants, chardonnay, the handkerchief, cappuccino and numerous others little known facts.
Perhaps most relevant to the book itself is the story of Edward I during the ninth crusade. It was there that Edward encountered Hasan bin Sabah in what is today
If that sounds familiar to modern day terrorism, it should.
In the 13th century however, it was believed that in order to commit suicide for such a cause the men must have been drugged on hash. As a result, the word used to describe Muslim suicide killers was “hashishim” which later evolved into the word we know today as “assassin.”
Each chapter is a mini-biography, complete with a detailed family tree, of the forty-five monarchs who have sat on the throne since Canute became the first king of
They almost become literary snacks where you can read one or several and come back for more without losing your place.
Mailish’s conversational, story-telling style is as though the author himself is narrating the adventures of royal intrigue at a cocktail party.
Another aspect of the book is the evolution of the rules of succession which continue to change even today. As we know so well from the saga of Henry VIII, gender has long been a major factor in the link to the throne, but that is changing now with contemporary mores where sexual orientation no longer matters.
As Maislish points out if the gender-factor had been eliminated during the reign of Queen
As the age old adage says, “truth is often stranger than fiction.”
If such events tickle your fancy, then Assassination, The Royal Family’s 1000 Year Curse, should find its place in your literary line of succession. It’s a bloody good read. Available in paperback ($16) and e-book ($5) at www.amazon.com
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
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