Monarchies 1000-2000 by W.M. Spellman
This work surveys an influential form of government whose legitimacy rests not on voluntary consensus but on age-old custom, heredity and/or religious sanction. Global in scope and comparative in approach, this text establishes connections between monarchy as idea and practice in a variety of historical and cultural contexts across the last millennium, during which time the system was without serious rival. The author examines the intellectual assumptions behind different models of monarchy, tracing the ways in which each of these assumptions shifted in response to historical factors including the expansion of literacy, the development of modern science, the growth of rationalism and the decline of institutional religion.