In 1649, after Oliver Cromwell and his army had taken King Charles I prisoner, they had to decide what to do with him. The easiest option, according to a contemporary, was assassination, "for which there were hands ready enough to be employed." Instead, a lawyer named John Cooke was given the brief to prosecute him. (Other lawyers left town to dodge the job.) At the time, there was no language for what Charles was charged with: as king, he was the law, so prosecuting him seemed a logical absurdity. Robertson, a lawyer involved in the prosecutions of Augusto Pinochet and Saddam Hussein, credits Cooke with helping to make those proceedings possible; he "made tyranny a crime." But Cooke himself was executed after the monarchy was restored. His heart and genitals were fed to stray dogs, and his head, at King Charles II's direction, was displayed at the entrance to Westminster Hall.
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“Superb. . . . We owe Robertson a debt for reminding us of our benefactors and the price they paid.” —The Wall Street Journal“Fascinating. . . . The best account of these events to date. . . . A very major book, a persuasive reminder of the ongoing need to defend human rights and civil liberties. . . . Historical writing and legal writing at its best.” —Houston Chronicle“Scholarly and gripping. . . . The Tyrannicide Brief is not only a compelling history and legal thriller, but also a telling commentary for today.” —New York Law Journal MagazineSee all Editorial Reviews
Absolute excellent account of a decent and honorabale man who was no less than heroic in his role in bringing justice to the tyrant "divine right" monarcah Charles IPublished 8 months ago by T. Rogers
Geoffrey Robertson’s is the most up to date and possibly the most complete account of the trial of Charles I. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stephen Cooper
This is a fascinating history of the Interregnum . . . before, during and after . . . the characters and the times. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Whip
Another great book for Anglophiles. This is the story of the first instance when people acted on the idea that a ruler was responsible to the ruled.Published 17 months ago by Gaby Chapman
This is a story that is seldom told because of the extreme emotional investment of people in the 17th century and to this day. Read morePublished on April 27, 2013 by Jack Rogers