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Charles I: A political life (Profiles in Power) Hardcover – July 28, 2005

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Richard Cust's new biography (is) by far the best to date... This is an outstanding piece of work: not only the best life of the king yet produced, but also the most subtle and balanced synthesis of current research on the politics and religion of the reign currently in print.'

BBC History

'Cust comes as close to producing a definitive account of the nature of Charles I's kingship as anyone is likely to do for a long time.'

'We should be grateful....for this brilliantly conceived and deeply pondered work. It becomes a crucial point of reference, always trustworthy and enlightening.'

Anthony Fletcher, History Today, May 2006

'...the most impressive aspect of the book is the way that interwoven in the narrative is a consistent, novel and coherent view of Charles the politician. What is novel about Dr. Cust’s view is that he is not content to put Charles’s political failures down simply, as many recent historians have done, to the king’s lack of political ability. His explanations are more subtle and, thus, more convincing.'

Professor Barry Coward, Birkbeck College, London; author of The Stuart Age: England1603-1714 (Longman, 2003)

From the Back Cover

...the most impressive aspect of the book is the way that interwoven in the narrative is a consistent, novel and coherent view of Charles the politician. What is novel about Dr. Cust’s view is that he is not content to put Charles’s political failures down simply, as many recent historians have done, to the king’s lack of political ability. His explanations are more subtle and, thus, more convincing.

Professor Barry Coward, Birkbeck College, London; author of The Stuart Age: England1603-1714 (Longman, 2003)

 

Charles I was a complex man whose career intersected with some of the most dramatic events in English history. He played a central role in provoking the English Civil War, and his execution led to the only republican government Britain has ever known. Historians have struggled to get him into perspective, veering between outright condemnation and measured sympathy.

 

Richard Cust shows that Charles I was not ‘unfit to be a king’, emphasising his strengths as a party leader and conviction politician, but concludes that, none the less, his prejudices and attitudes, and his mishandling of political crises did much to bring about a civil war in Britain. He argues that ultimately, after the war, Charles pushed his enemies into a position where they had little choice but to execute him.

 

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Product Details

  • Series: Profiles in Power
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Longman (July 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582070341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582070349
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,971,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A readable and balanced portrayal of Charles, showing his virtues as well as his faults. Charles was the wrong man for his circumstances, but not totally evil or inept at everything. He learned the wrong lessons from his life experiences, and in the end his private virtues such as loyalty to his servants meant he could not compromise when it was necessary. This biography gives good insight into Charles and what went wrong.
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