In the House of History

Of late, I've been reading The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy, and it's fascinating. Admittedly, it's a bit hard to follow in places, as it assumes a much broader knowledge of European history than I possess, but it's still an interesting and informative read. So far, I've gotten up to George II (who reigned from 1727 to 1760), but I think my favorite monarch so far is from quite a bit further back.

Eric Bloodaxe (yes, that's his real name) was the Viking king of York from 947-954. I like him because:
1) His name is Eric Bloodaxe.
2.) He seems to have had a pretty straightforward view of leadership. His coinage says it all. Rather than mucking about with portraits and the like, his coins simply have the words "Eric" and "Rex" (which means "king", for those who missed out on rudimentary latin), with a big sword right across the middle, in case anyone forgot why he was king...

Reading this book also sparked my curiousity, and I turned to the all-knowing internet for answers. This is where I found History House, a very entertaining website that seems to be run by people who have their facts straight (well, as straight as facts get where history is concerned). I cannot reccommend enough that you should browse their column archives. Want to know more about Rasputin? Fidel Castro? Eugenics? Go there first.