In _Unruly_, David Mitchell explores how early monarchs, while acting as feared rulers firmly guiding their subjects' destinies, were in reality a bunch of lucky sods who were mostly as silly and weird in real life as they appear to us today in their portraits.
Taking us right back to King Arthur (spoiler: he didn't exist), David tells the founding story of post-Roman England right up to the reign of Elizabeth I (spoiler: she dies). It's a tale of narcissists, inadequate self-control, excessive beheadings, middle-management insurrection, uncivil wars, and at least one total Cnut, as the English evolved from having their crops nicked by the thug with the largest armed gang to bowing and paying taxes to a divinely anointed King.
How this happened, who it happened to and why the hell it matters TODAY are all questions David answers with brilliance, wit and the full erudition of a man who once studied history - and is damned if he'll let it off the hook for the mess it's made of everything.
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