Set in an age of intrigue and betrayal, The King's Revenge brings these remarkable figures vividly to life in an engrossing tale of ambition, double agents, and espionage. Well, in reality it wasn't quite like that, though royalist sentiment remained strong in the country throughout the 1650s. It is about men, such as Sir George Downing, a former Roundhead who turned traitor and wormed his way back into royal favour by arresting former comrades; and also of immense bravery, as men died for what they believed in. The E-mail message field is required. Men who had once been among the most powerful figures in England ended up on the scaffold, on the run, or in fear of the assassin's bullet.
Many of the most senior figures in England were hanged, drawn and quartered; imprisoned for life; or consigned to a self-imposed exile, in constant fear of the assassin's bullet. Good read but not totally gripping. I was amazed how quickly public opinion turned against the commonwealth men and how the country swung right to the opposite end of the political spectrum. During the Commonwealth, English was made the language of the courts. I have read Geoffrey Robertson's The Regicide Brief.
What really stood out for me was the fight for liberties we take for granted today and some foreshadowing of the American Revolution. The concluding chapters highlight the intriguing topic of the flight of some of the regicides including those who lived a life on the run in the New Colonies. Despite having been dead for 14 months his body was disinterred along with that of Oliver Cromwell and another signatory and their bodies were hung, beheaded their heads placed on spikes and quartered. After a brief 12-year stand, the shaky republican government - and short-term Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell - was quickly swept away by the public's yearning for the traditional English monarchical government. A lesser punishment meant they would be bankrupted, their entire wealth seized by the Crown. First Pegasus Books hardcover edition.
The authors complete the book with details of what happened to all the regicides and their fate and, also, it applauds what those men achieved. When they appeared before parliament they were asked to plead guilty or not guilty without clear understanding of the charges. History has painted the regicides and their supporters as fanatical Puritans, but among them were remarkable men, including John Milton and Oliver Cromwell. The only constitution in English history was written up by the men like Lambert, and Henry Ireland in response to the absolutist rule of Charles I. Their properties were seized and, at first seven of the judges were selected for execution. Jordan begins with the capture, trial and execution of Charles I. Downing would gain a reputation as an odious, treacherous turncoat.
While not on the same scale both were counter revolutions against previous revolutions and both carried out a series of judicial state murders. Many of the most senior figures in England were hanged, drawn and quartered; imprisoned for life; or consigned to a self-imposed exile, in constant fear of the assassin's bullet. We are told of all the energy and time spent in searching for men who signed the death warrant - some of whom had left England and started new lives in American and Europe. The authors did extensive research both in England and the U. It was also interesting to hear about how dissenting the colonies already were toward the crown - America is often portrayed as having been loyal subjects who were just given the last straw that led to revolution.
History has painted the regicides and their supporters as fanatics, but among them were exceptional men, including John Milton, poetic genius and political propagandist; Oliver Cromwell's steely son-in-law, Henry Ireton; and the errant son of an earl, Algernon Sidney, whose writings helped inspire the founders of the American Revolution. Not quite a king but pretty close. In time took control and, in the eyes of some, took the throne as well. Many of the most senior figures in England were hanged, drawn and quartered; imprisoned for life; or consigned to a self-imposed exile, in constant fear of the assassin's bullet. Many were captured and three were kidnapped and taken out of Holland by another turncoat George Downing or whom Downing Street is named after because he got a land grant near White Hall. Cromwell himself was subjected to the most bizarre symbolic revenge when--though long-dead--his body was disinterred and beheaded. If the king forgot his duty to the people, the people could break their contract with the king.
You were cut down before you were dead and your vitals were roasted in front of you before you died. It gave a balanced overview of the time period and issues involved and was not inaccessible for readers who know little about the era in question. This book tells the fate of the men who dared to sit in judgement upon King Charles I, known simply as the regicides. Beheaded so their heads could be put on display on spikes. To their credit the authors have consulted Geoffrey Robertson book The Tyrannicide Brief. Despite a generally bad press, the regicides were men of principle who stood for many of the liberties that today we take for granted.
Whatever the reason, I did have a hard time with this account. Many Englishmen and Parliamentarians began to feel they had simply exchanged one tyrant for another. I didn't necessarily disagree with this conclusion, my only slight objection being that the switch in focus felt a little jarring. The writing style is accessible and does not get stuck on describing unnecessary details. It seems that this did not happen.
Those who died before the king could kill them were pulled from the grave or crypt, beheaded and then buried in mass graves. They all sort of blur together. As in their previous work, Jordan and Walsh showcase their wit throughout a clear disentangling of alliances and betrayals. Men who had once been among the most powerful figures in England ended up on the scaffold, on the run, or in fear of the assassin's bullet. He wrote in a number of publications calling for action to be taken to secure a better standard of living for the poor.
The book reaches Cromwells funeral at 21% and his son Richard, who did not want to inherit the protectorship was named as just that. This then is another side to the story of a king best known for his many mistresses and carefree life. Oliver Cromwell, long since dead, was disinterred and his head displayed as a warning. Overall, this is a really readable account of this turbulent and exciting time. Charles I was one of the last European monarchs who believed in the notion of the 'divine right of Kings' and sought to rule as an autocrat without having to answer to Parliament.