Saturday, July 28, 2007

Five best: history of assassinations

George Fetherling, a Canadian novelist and poet and author of The Book of Assassins, selected a five best "works that excel in tracking the unsettling history of assassinations" list for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:
Royal Murders by Dulcie M. Ashdown

Motives for assassination vary from one era to the next and from one culture to another. Perhaps the biggest change in the bloody history of assassination followed the revolutions in France and America and the rise of republicanism, which made regicide largely obsolete. Such at least is the message to be inferred from "Royal Murders," Dulcie M. Ashdown's 1,000-year survey of the murders of European rulers. Ashdown is known in Britain as a genial writer on such subjects as the queen mother, the princess of Wales and royal matters generally. It is a careful book of broad range that avoids sensationalism. It is strongest when dealing with long-ago assassinations, such as the shooting of King Gustav III of Sweden at a masked ball in 1792. Ashdown's revision of the text in 2000 dulled the sharp focus somewhat -- the first edition is preferable.
Read more about Fetherling's list.

--Marshal Zeringue