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Royalty for Commoners by Roderick W. Stuart. Published by Genealogical Publishing Company, 1001 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. 3rd edition 1998. x, 332 pp. Index. Hardcover. $35 plus $3.50 p& h.

This is the third edition of Royalty for Commoners which attempts to document the genealogy of John of Gaunt, (1340-1399), son of King Edward III and Queen Phillippa. It is this line through which many Americans can attach themselves to European royalty. Royalty is a great book if you have gotten this far back in time.

The 1998 edition is nearly a complete reworking of earlier editions. Two dozen lines are lengthened. Source notes are improved to include dates of publication, an every-name index and an index to royal titles. The bibliography is expanded and refined.

The layout of the book takes a little getting used to because the arbitrary line numbering is significant only as a finding aid. The generation numbering is also unusual. The assumption is that generation 1 is a middle-aged person living near the end of the twentieth century. Working backwards into the past the numbering system cannot be disturbed by adding or deleting names. John of Gaunt appears as generation 21 and all the other generational numbers are higher as all lines go back further in time.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.5 no.5, 1998