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Charles I: A Life of Religion, War and Treason Paperback – June 12, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

An excellent account...balanced and perceptive in outlook...well-written and entertaining. (Economist)

About the Author

Christopher Hibbert, "a pearl of biographers" (New Statesman), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of Disraeli (Palgrave Macmillan), The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, The English: A Social History, and Cavaliers and Roundheads. He lives in Oxfordshire, England.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; 2nd edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140398378X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403983787
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John A. La Boone III on June 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book a lot. The amount of good research that went into it is considerable. The book also has quite a number of good illustrations relating to the life of Charles and other notable people in the story and the times in which they lived. This is a good study of what happens when a person who does not have the personal strengths and special qualities needed for high position has high position thrust upon him. Though he was quite a fine gentleman and much more moral in his personal behavior than most other monarchs, he was not really king material. Unfortunately, he never suspected that of himself. Once placed in tumultuous times, Charles became doomed. Hibbert does an excellent job of showing how Charles' personality became his fate, or as the saying goes: "Character is destiny." This book is well worth the attention of anyone intersted in Charles I, the English Civil War, the Reformation, the 17th century, monarchy or the psychology of power.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy A. Perron on March 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
His life could have been much better had his older brother Henry lived. That way England could have had its King Henry IX and Charles, the Duke of York, could have been a great art director. Instead death took his brother's life and sent Charles to a position in which he was so over his head that he lost it.

During the course of this book I wondered how a monarchy so powerful in the days of the Tudors could become so weak and feeble. Part of King Charles' problem was he was the son of King James. King James I had often boasted of his absolute power and wondered why his ancestors allowed an institution such as Parliament to come into existence. If King James had only done a tad bit of research he may have discovered that Edward Longshanks stole the idea from Simon De Montfort. King Edward I thought it would be best to have a meeting where the various interests of the kingdom could discuss any problems the kingdom was facing, raise money, and if anyone had any grievances to be able to air them. This allowed the King to govern more effectively and for most of its history Parliament was just a state of being as opposed to an institution with its own interests. For many effective monarchs, Parliament was just a method used by the King to strengthen his own power. One could imagine that Edward I, Edward III, Edward IV, Henry VII, Henry VIII, or Elizabeth I could have handled the problems the King Charles had to deal with far more effectively than he did. For King Charles I was brought up listening to his father's theories and believed every one of them.

Charles was clearly the wrong man for the job. He was so stubborn in his position that he would never negotiate until it was too late, and then, when willing, he wanted the previous terms offered to him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher F. Kerr on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author covers the highlights in the life of Charles I, and his writing style kept me interested throughout the book. For those looking for a general biography but don't want to delve too deeply into the English Civil Wars, this book will satisfy. The book has many period illustrations throughout.

The background of the English Civil Wars, and the wars themselves, are covered, but only thinly. As a biography, the book does focus mainly on the perspective of Charles I and most events that occur outside of his vantage are not covered, or only mentioned.

I was disappointed that the book does not mention any of the events following the king's execution: his head is chopped off, and all we know about the aftermath are some details of his lying-in-state and burial (and that his wife was upset). It ended very suddenly. A brief epilogue would have satisfied.

Overall: a nice introduction.

(Not related to the book itself, this book was just dropped into a too-large box that was not taped or glued, just clumsily folded together. The book was not damaged while it slid around in its box, but it could have easily fallen out or had its corners/pages bent. Very shoddy packing.)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dale hemm on February 11, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived as advertised.
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