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How important a part did books play in the lives of successive English monarchs and their families? Besides Alfred the Great, Edward IV, Henry VIII and George III, which kings cared for books? This well-illustrated volume presents a fresh and wide-ranging review of the material and documentary evidence for royal interest in handwritten and printed books. Leading experts offer new perspectives on the part of England's monarchs in the circulation and preservation of texts from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Some essays consider individual books or monarchs. Others take a wider view of several centuries of evidence. At the heart of the volume is the remarkable array of royal books held by the British Library, including the Old Royal Library presented to the nation by George II and the King's Library presented by George IV. Contributors: Richard Gameson, Michael Wood, James Carley, Nicholas Vincent, Joanna Fronska, Catherine Reynolds, Scot McKendrick, Kathleen Doyle, John Goldfinch and Jane Roberts.