Saturday, February 7, 2015

Killers Of The King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I-Charles Spencer

Killers Of The King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I
Charles Spencer
Bloomsbury Press, Jan 20 2015, $30.00
ISBN: 9781620409121

Haughty with rigid adherence to the Divine Rights of King doctrine, Charles I angered Parliament and much of his English subjects with his iron fisted intolerant rule until a revolt led to his fleeing to Scotland for sanctuary.  However instead of asylum, Scottish soldiers sold him to the English.  On trial in front of a jury of 83 carefully selected commissioners, the monarch is found guilty with 59 choosing death.  After the deposed ruler is executed, Oliver Cromwell imposes a rigid theocracy especially targeting Catholic Royalists and their families.  When Cromwell dies, with the support of now out in the open royalists, the son of the late Charles becomes king.  King Charles II proclaims the Declaration of Breda amnesty with noted exceptions.

This is a fabulous fast-paced seventeenth century historical that escorts armchair historians through the decade consisting of the final days of Catholic King Charles I, the Cromwell Protestant regime, and the Restoration of King Charles II.  Readers meet key royalists, Cromwellians (particular the regicides) and restorers.  The two common themes during this tumultuous internal strife are survival under the opponent’s oppression with role reversals occurring; and those in charge persecute those who were not with nobody seemingly able to learn anything from being hounded except implementing revenge when they are back on top. 

Harriet Klausner

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