WHITE KING: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr

WHITE KING: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr

LEANDA DE LISLE    Book Number: 87002    Product format: Hardback

King Charles I to his supporters was the saintly White King crowned in robes the colour of innocence. To opponents he was the White King of the prophecies of Merlin, a tyrant destined for a violent end. Informed by previously unseen royal correspondence, this new portrait depicts a brave and principled king who inspired great loyalty but who was also a man of flesh and blood. Executed at the hands of his own subjects, Charles the martyr and murderer, lauded by friends and condemned by enemies is largely forgotten. Here female political figures of the age take centre stage alongside the men as they did in their own time. The lost royal letters quoted here for the first time give a voice not only to Charles but also to his maligned Catholic Queen, Henrietta Maria. She is revealed in a new light as every inch the daughter of the great warrior king Henri IV of France. The early chapters take us into Europe and its empires, the world of Charles's sister the Winter Queen of Bohemia, of Protestant churches in flames and the advance of the Counter-Reformation, the France of Dumas' 'The Three Musketeers' and the Puritan colonies of New England, and of a London buzzing with a fast-moving new media, reporting on politics from Parliament. Among the key figures is the court beauty Lucy, Countess of Carlisle, a descendant of Mary Boleyn, a significant political player in her own right. Her cousin Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, is the greatest privateer of the age and deeply involved in the Puritan colonies. He is the reputed lover of a favourite of Henrietta Maria. The trigger event is Charles's decision to take his kingdoms into the Thirty Years' War, fighting for the dynastic interests of the Stuarts and the Protestant cause in Europe. Enjoy the beautiful court masques, the paintings of the artist Antony van Dyck and his images of the King's growing family in their sensual silks and lace. It ends in 1642 in a very different world, in the aftermath of an invasion from Scotland, rebellion in Ireland, mobs on the streets, and Charles and his family fleeing London. Covers the English Civil War with its narrative of the popish threat and mistrust of Catholicism, reducing England to the misery of a failed state. Witness intense violence and scenes of battle where Charles is an extraordinary survivor, but at the conclusion in captivity. The final part of the book introduces Jane Whorwood, a Royalist spy who Charles takes as his mistress. The archival detail reveals King Charles's personal contradictions, attractive qualities and ludicrous blunders. 399pp, colour plus maps and family trees.
Published price: $30
Bibliophile price: £7.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9781610395601
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