Kings of Albion

Julian Rathbone
ISBN 9781566492379 (hardcover)
Published in February 2002
MSRP $26.95

“A triumph...(which) echoes of I, CLAUDIS” - The Independent

“(The Last English King) portrays history as it really is: steeped in blood, punctuated with moments of unexpected humor and rather messier than one wishes it to be.” - The New York Times

“An intimate perspective on key historical events and a vivid picture of medieval life.” - Booklist

“An often haunting evocation of a tumultuous time of glory and grief.” - Kirkus Reviews

England, 1460. The Wars of the Roses are at their terrible and bloody climax, and Lancastrists and Yorkists are busy chopping each other into little pieces. Into this unlikely idyll walk three sophisticated and highly civilized visitors from the empire of Vijayanagara in South India, on a mission to track down the Prince of Vijayanagara's long-lost brother. Through the visitor's eyes the heart of darkness that was England is revealed – medieval England during its most gross and savage period, filled with battles, disease, treasure, with rival factions battling ferociously for the crown.
In the spirit of Montesquieu's Persian Letters, Julian Rathbone deftly employs the eyes of outside observers to shape a witty and often profound view of how the English came to be the way they are. Thoroughly modern, richly descriptive, packed with action, savage and erotic, informed with a spirit of inquiry and speculation that lifts it far above the conventional history novel, Kings of Albion is sure to please many discerning readers.

Julian Rathbone is the author of twenty-nine novels, most notably Joseph and King Fisher Lives, which were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize.