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The Comical Eye’s British Monarchy: From Alfred the Great to Charles III

Words by Leo Schulz

Art by Teresa Robertson

Square, 20 pp, $12.99

Which kings couldn’t speak English, or stammered when they could? Who were “Softsword” and “Sailor Bill”? Which king had 10 children with his mistress but none with his queen? Which kings were crowned twice? Which queen reigned for only 9 days? Which king disappeared? Here is a comic strip with a difference, an alternative (and funnier) Bayeux Tapestry tracing every king and queen from Alfred the Great to Charles III – each of their vivid pen-and-ink-portraits encapsulating the personal quirks and dramatic social change of their reigns.

This single-sheet poster-sized booklet unfolds the politics, passions, and pageantry of the English and later British Royal Family, from 871 to 2023: the tyrants, eccentrics, warriors, and murderers, as well as the saints, scholars, patrons, and philosophers, whose joint story this is. Or, rather, their joined-up history, as the graphic artwork on the back illustrates, showing the complete Family Tree of the families and dynasties of our island story.

Leo Schulz

Leo Schulz originally studied history at Auckland University. He started his career as a journalist, eventually working at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London. He later moved to financial services and it was while working in the City of London that he developed an interest first in architecture, and then in historical personalities, not least in Britain’s many eccentric kings and queens.

Teresa Robertson

Teresa Robertson is a professional illustrator whose clients have included the British Council. Her ability to capture likeness in people has been honed in the London district of Highbury, where she is known for her portraits of families in their homes. She was a finalist in the John Ruskin Prize in 2015 and exhibited in ‘The Inking Woman’, at the Cartoon Museum in London, in 2017. She has an MA from Cambridge in children’s book illustration.