Castles, Customs and Kings edited by Debra Brown and the late M.M. Bennetts and has essays from such historical fiction authors such as Katherine Ashe, Gillian Bagwell, Nancy Bilyeau, Sandra Byrd, Stephanie Cowell, Christy English, Barbara Kyle just to name a few, go here to read more about these authors and their work. These essays all come from these authors writing for the English Historical Fiction Authors Blog that was established by Debra Brown September 23rd 2011 of which I have been a fan of since its inception.
At the beginning of the book you will find a list of contributing authors, lists of the novels that the authors have written, I found this extensive list to be extremely helpful in finding a good book to read. Each section has different periods in English history ie. Roman Britain and early Medieval period, Late Medieval period, Tudor period, Stuart period, Early Georgian period, Late Georgian period and Regency era, Victorian era. Another section has a bit about the twentieth century which includes Downton Abbey, lost houses of England, Ellis Island and British immigrants. Last but not least, the last chapter has historical tidbits across the ages. Wow, that is a huge huge amount of information, but all fascinating.
I do have the book in print and was offered the audio book for review by Debra Brown and since the print book is a bit big and bulky to take along to the gym, hard to hold on the treadmill, the audio book was perfect for me. I lot of the essays had material that I had read about and knew, my favorite period is the Tudor era, but I also learned a bit more on other topics such as medieval feasts, some of the famous and infamous people that are a huge part of English history.
So my thoughts? This has to be one of the best and concise book about English history that I have ever had the pleasure to read and it was not boring like some history books can be. Told by the best authors out there, if you are a fan of British history like I am, then you absolutely have to have this book, in whatever format you want. I loved it! I look forward to the next one!