When Charles Stuart was a young child, it seemed unlikely that he would survive, let alone become ruler of England and Scotland. Once shy and retiring, an awkward stutterer, he grew in stature and confidence under the guidance of the Duke of Buckingham; his marriage to Henrietta of Spain, originally planned to end the conflict between the two nations, became, after rocky beginnings, a true love match. Charles I is best remembered for having started the English Civil War in 1642 which led to his execution for treason, the end of the monarchy, and the establishment of a commonwealth until monarchy was restored in 1660. Hibbert's masterful biography re-creates the world of Charles I, his court, artistic patronage, and family life, while tracing the course of events that led to his execution for treason in 1649.
A royal marriage, based on romantic passion and ferocious, unbridgeable religious differences, ends in tragedy—a history worthy of Shakespeare.
It was, from the start, a dangerous experiment. Charles I of England was a Protestant, the fifteen-year-old French princess a Catholic. The marriage was arranged for political purposes, and it seemed a mismatch of personalities. But against the odds, the reserved king and his naively vivacious bride fell passionately in love, and for ten years England enjoyed an era of peace and prosperity.
When Charles became involved in war with Puritan Scotland, popular hatred of Henrietta’s Catholicism roused Parliament to fury. As the opposition party embraced new values of liberty and republicanism—the blueprint for the American War of Independence and the French Revolution—Charles’s fears for his wife’s safety drove him into a civil war that would cost him his crown and his head.
Rejecting centuries of hostile historical tradition, prize-winning biographer Katie Whitaker uses a host of original sources—including many unpublished manuscripts and letters—to create an intimate portrait of a remarkable marriage.
The reign of Charles I, defined by religious conflict, a titanic power struggle with Parliament, and culminating in the English Civil Wars, the execution of the king, and the brief abolition of the monarchy, was one of the most turbulent in English history. Six years after the First Civil War began, and following Charles’ support for the failed Royalist uprising of the Second Civil War, an act of Parliament was passed that produced something unprecedented in the history of England: the trial of an English king on a capital charge. There followed ten extraordinary weeks that finally drew to a dark end on January 30, 1649, when Charles was beheaded in Whitehall. In this acclaimed account, C. V. Wedgwood recreates the dramatic events of the trial and Charles’s final days, to vividly bring to life the main actors in this tragic and compelling story
Jane Whorwood was one of Charles I’s closest confidantes. The wife of an Oxfordshire squire, when the court moved to Oxford in 1642, at the start of the Civil War, she helped the royalist cause by spying for the king, and smuggling gold (perhaps as much as 1,000 kg) to help pay for his army. When Charles was held captive by the Parliamentarians, from 1646 to 1649, she organized money, correspondence, several escape attempts, astrological advice, and a ship for him. New evidence even suggests that they may have had a brief affair. After his execution in 1649, Jane’s marriage collapsed in the one of the most public and acrimonious cases of the seventeenth century. John Fox describes the life of this fascinating woman, and the important role she played in the English Civil War.
This is a lucid, fair-minded account of a difficult and tragic man. Pauline Gregg has drawn heavily on original documents, letters, and speeches to show how Charles's heritage, upbringing, and personality, as well as his relationships with friends, advisors, and favorites, all took place against a background of social and political upheaval that gradually enveloped him and his whole family.
A striking portrait of Charles I, this book also looks closely at the role that the burgeoning financial powers played in shaping European politics and the effects that these powers had on the English monarchy during his reign. Belloc also explores the consequences of these effects for Europe generally. At the same time, it is a detailed study of the man who was Charles I with all his strengths, all his weaknesses. Belloc’s sense of history sheds light on how those strengths and weaknesses contributed to action or inaction by Charles and how those actions affected England and the rest of Europe.