Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy by Alison Weir. Published by Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA. Fax 011-44-171-233-6115. 1989, updated edition 1996. 386 pp. Index. Softcover. £10.

This volume covers the period 800 A.D. to the present. The monarchs belonging to each Royal House appear in chronological order, with the dynasties of England, Scotland, and Great Britain being included. Even the children who died in infancy are included, as are many stillbirths. Illegitimate children are also listed.

The succession of the monarchy is usually through the male lines. This means that the descendants of the female members of the royal families beyond the first generation are not included, except where relevant to the succession. Likewise, the descendants of the illegitimate children of monarchs are omitted.

All names in the book have been Anglicized or Latinized for the sake of clarity. When a person is known by more than one name, the alternatives are given. The introduction has to be carefully read to understand how alternative dates and questionable names are highlighted.

At the end of each chapter there is a select bibliography about each monarch and spouse, given in order of Ms. Weir's preference for usefulness. There is a more complete bibliography at the end of the book.

The individual pieces of data in the genealogies are not cited but will provide clues on where to look if you want to prove your connections to Royalty. This is a fun book to read just to show the interconnectedness of all of Europe's Royal families. A fascinating reference book.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.4 no.4, 1997