Past, Present and Future
Routledge – 1999 – 336 pages
Series: Woburn Education Series
Many people assume that kings and queens have generally received a "good education", perhaps the best that money could buy at the time. This book investigates the reality: what is known about the education of British sovereigns from the beginning of the Tudor period to the end of the 20th century.
There have been enormous differences in the seriousness with which education was regarded at different points in history. For example Henry VIII and his children were educated at a high point in the Renaissance, when educational ideas were regarded as important as well as exciting. Queen Elizabeth I was by any standards extremely well educated; by contrast Queen Elizabeth II's education has been described as "undemanding", because her parents wanted her to have a happy childhood.
Peter Gordon and Denis Lawton have traced changes in royal education through the centuries and related them not only to educational ideas and theories, but also to changing political, social and religious contexts.
The monarchy itself has changed as an institution: from the semi-absolute authority of the Tudors to a much more limited kind of monarchy by the end of the Stuart period (after one king had been executed and another exiled) to the constitutional monarchy of the 20th century. To what extent have such changes made any difference to royal education? What is the most appropriate kind of education for future kings and queens in our present day democracy? In this book, the authors confront these and other such questions and explore some of the answers.
The Independent - John Izbicki -"It deserves to go straight into the best-seller list"
Gloucester Citizen- " This book is an excellent read for anyone who harbours an interest in the history and future of the royal family and is essential to those concerned with the history of educational ideas"
Irish News-" This collaborative effort offers a thorough and in-depth history of royal education from the Tudors to the Windsors"
The Herald- Glasgow- Book of the Week
Education Journal- review by John Izbiciki- " a highly enjoyable book" see file- he "adored the book"
Education Journal- "This account of monarchical education from the Tudors onwards in invaluable. No one else has attempted such a coherent study of royal education before. The book opens our eyes to an area hitherto neglected but which is of great importance.