Mortal Monarchs by Suzie Edge

Mortal Monarchs by Suzie Edge – 1000 Years of Royal Deaths – was such a disappointment. I only gave it 1 star!
The book is about how the monarchs died, written by a medical historian. Her background as a medical doctor made me very excited. The issues for me were with the writing and the factual. She is known on Tiktok and her jokes have a Tiktok feel, unfortunately it seemed her historical research looks like it was made on Tiktok as well. The blurb mentions the well-known story of the red-hot poker shoved in Edward II’s rear end, but in the chapter she says that it is unconfirmed and that it might have been a homophobic take by priests. So, why mentioning this when she knows it’s very possible it was untrue?!

Mortal Monarchs by Suzie Edge

For example:
‘Jane Grey signed her name as queen and for 13 days (a little longer than the 9 days from which she gets the nickname) she held on to the throne. Mary gathered support and many swapped to her side when they saw she was gaining a foothold. Mary had to take the throne by force – the force of axe, through Jane’s neck. Jane was beheaded by Mary. Not actually by Mary, that would have been quite the scene, but on the orders of Mary, who seemed to have inherited the vicious streak from her father.’ (page 179)
She goes on with the whole Mary-burned-at-the-stake thing. Well, Elizabeth I killed more people than Mary did, which is something a historian should know.

Edward died on the 6th, but his death was not announced. So technically Jane was queen for 9 days because. Edge’s 13-days claim instead of 9 is not explained in any way. Mary was crowned in 1553 and Lady Jane was executed in 1554, about half an year later, so no, Mary did not had to kill Jane to take the crown. Again, this is something a historian writing on the period should be aware of.

Another example:
‘The year 1810 was a difficult time…. there was a whiff of republicanism in the air.’ (page 264)

She repeated the republicanism thing on the following page. Well, in 1810, what she calls republicanism didn’t actually exist. Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in 1804. After his fall, Napoleon was replaced with Louis XVIII, another Bourbon king, and Charles X. We need to go to 1848 for France’s second republic, at that point George IV and his successor William were both dead for some time.

Thus, I would recommend this book only if you like this kind of jokes and know the British (and French) history well to spot mistakes (intentional or otherwise) like the ones above. It is a shame because I was interested in the medical parts and really enjoyed those. It’s the only reason I actually finished the book, despite the “red-hot poker in the rear end” coming up so often it made me think the book is starting to feel homophobic. While the jokes are a matter of taste, the historical inaccuracies are unpardonable from what is a trained historian.

Mortal Monarchs by Suzie Edge

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 1/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: nope
Published by: Wildfire
Year it was published: 2022
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History
Pages: 256

About the author: Suzie Edge is a medical doctor and has a MLitt in Modern History. She is known on Tiktok.
Website & Social Media Links: –

2 thoughts on “Mortal Monarchs by Suzie Edge”

    • I liked the medical aspects of it. The jokes didn’t work for me, but that’s a matter of personal preference. What was inexcusable was the poor historical research. It might have been intentional, which is even worse.

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