Murder mysteries are one of the most popular genres of novels today. More often than not, these books are fiction. Royal Murders by Dulcie M. Ashdown is a non-fiction book about murder. This novel travels back thousands of years and tells the story of murders in royal households, like the Scottish monarchy of 1570 to the evil doings of Tsar Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible). Although the book could have gone into more detail, it is interesting and informative because the background information is set out in detail, and book reviews suggest that this book is for anyone who shares a deep love for history and mystery.
When the term “monarch” is used, the first thing that comes to mind is a bombastic king and queen with unlimited power. The reality is, this is not always true. The definition of a monarch is “someone who is the head of a state government, either in reality or symbolically” (Nederman 2). Such a government is known as a monarchy. A monarch usually either inherits sovereignty by birth or is elected. Either way, a monarch typically rules for life or until abdication. Depending on the type of government in place, the “monarch’s true power varies from one monarchy to another” (Nederman 2). They may be complete tyrants, known as an absolute monarchy. On the other hand, they may be ceremonial heads of state who exercise little or no power and are only a figure head which is known as a constitutional monarchy (Nederman 2). These different types of governments have all been around for about the same amount of time. However, some are more renowned than others.
Time is a large factor in Royal Murders. This book can be summed up in three time periods. The Middle Ages, which cover 410 AD – 1450, the Early Modern Period consisting of 1450...
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... Gale, 1999. Student Resources in Context. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
"Middle Ages." Gale Student Resources in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Student Resources in Context. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Nederman, Cary J. "Monarchy: Overview." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Cline Horowitz. Vol. 4. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 1492-494. Student Resources in Context. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.
"Overview for Early Modern Europe." Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History. Ed. Jennifer Stock. Vol. 4: Europe. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2013. Student Resources in Context. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
"Royal Murders: Hatred, Revenge and the Seizing of Power." Barnes & Noble. The History Press, 9 Jan. 2009. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Worden, Blair. "The Execution of Charles I: The King Is Dead, Long Live the Crown." History Today. History Today, Feb. 2009. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.