Hardback Published on: 28/09/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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I laughed out loud so many times whilst I was reading this book.
David Mitchell recounts tales about dhe kings and queens of england at a run. He starts with King Arthur, who he insists did not exisit, and from that you... READ MORE
Eilish Smith
A refreshing take on the history of our kings and queens…even the made up ones!
The best way I can describe this books is horrible histories for adults! It’s brilliant! Had History been this interesting and fun when I was at school, I ... READ MORE
Kelly B at Lichfield
British history at it's funniest
Is it weird that I could hear his voice in my head as I was reading this? This is an excellent way to learn about the history of Britain's monarchy. It'... READ MORE
Angie at Blackpool
Unruly indeed!
History has always been a fascinating subject for me, but I often find it so hard to remember what I've actually read. Unruly has been a game changer! I ha... READ MORE
Chelsea at Lichfield


Discover who we are and how we got here in comedian and student of history David Mitchell's Unruly: A History of England's Kings and Queens - a thoughtful, funny exploration of the founding fathers and mothers of England, and subsequently Britain. Think you know the Kings and Queens of England? Think again. In Unruly, 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 sods who were mostly as silly and weird in real life as they appear to us today in their portraits. Taking us right back to King Arthur (spoiler: he didn't exist), David tells the founding story of post-Roman England right up to the reign of Elizabeth I (as the monarchy began to lose its power). It's a tale of narcissists, inadequate self-control, excessive beheadings, middle-management insurrection, uncivil wars, and at least one total Cnut, as the English evolved from having their crops nicked with menaces 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 in twenty-first-century Britain are all questions David answers with brilliance, wit and the full erudition of a man who once studied history - and is damned if he'll let it off the hook for the mess it's made of everything. A serious book by a very funny man, Unruly is for anyone who has ever wondered how we got here - and who is to blame.

  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781405953177
  • Number of pages: 448
  • Weight: 720g
  • Dimensions: 236 x 156 x 44 mm

Customer Reviews

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Laugh out loud funny….
This is the most entertaining and funny British history I’ve ever come across. Mitchell covers the story of each King or Queen from Anglo Saxon times to th... READ MORE
Emine at Bromley
Hilarious and clever
One of the most interesting but hilarious books I've read ! As I read, I hear David Mitchell's voice in every word...the beginning concerns so many unheard... READ MORE
Christine Saunders
Unruly Kings
Excellent book I read it twice and could read it again. Mr Mitchell combines humour and facts together making it a totally readable book. Especially the K... READ MORE
John Harwood
Fun look at the history of our kings from the Anglo Saxons to the Tudors
I’ve enjoyed reading this slightly disrespectful book about our past kings and queens. If you don’t mind a bit of swearing you do get authentic history wit... READ MORE
Jeanne Bendle