Books > Battles royal

14 February 2018 | by Rebecca Fraser

Battles royal


Billed as a biography of Charles I, this book’s fascination is as a joint portrait of the royal couple, the most human of historical actors in England’s greatest political drama. Its exceptional illustrations include a miniature depicting the king’s execution, the most shocking event in seventeenth-­century Europe.

Leanda de Lisle believes Charles I’s principal legacy is the Church of England, with its ­bishops and choral music, which remains so interwoven with the culture of this country. The defence of his ecclesiastical policies by the king’s close adviser, Archbishop William Laud, offered at his trial is striking:  “I laboured nothing more than that the external worship of God (too much slighted in most parts of this kingdom) might be preserved.”


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