The King and the Gentleman

The King and the Gentleman

Charles Stuart and Oliver Cromwell, 1599-1649

Book - 1999
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For all the myths surrounding Oliver Cromwell and Charles Stuart, there is no detailed account of any meeting between them. Yet they were almost exact contemporaries, embodying virtually everything for which politicians, bishops, preachers, and generals contended. The paths of these two men gradually converged until a frosty morning in 1649, when the executioner's axe ended one man's life and raised the other to the brink of absolute power. In his moving history, Derek Wilson brings to life the politics and the personalities that once shook a kingdom.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c1999
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312244057
Branch Call Number: 941.0620922 Wil 3558
Characteristics: 473 p. :,ill., plates


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Sep 12, 2015

This author attempts to explain the actions of these two historical English Civil War leaders by reference to their genealogy, upbringing, and personal contacts. He parallels the schema of analysing their psychology. This approach makes the description of history very dramatic, as the two individuals hurl themselves towards their ultimate meeting and climax. The religious conflict of the two individuals is developed in some detail, so that in the end, you feel that this conflict was about these two individuals. However, the conflict was national, with many key players, and many more significant walk-on roles. The complexities of the situation were hinted at, but not drawn out, as the focus was squarely on these two individuals. While the author attempts to be even-handed, I felt some bias in places. This may well be the most controversial era in British history, so a purely objective reading of the situation may be difficult. Yet the writing was so vivid that I was pulled along, completing the book quickly. While I had learned much, I feel the need for more perspectives on the era of the English Civil war.

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