The Last Royal Rebel : The Life and Death of James, Duke of Monmouth-9781408845936

The Last Royal Rebel : The Life and Death of James, Duke of Monmouth

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by Anna, Keay | Unclassified
Published 14/04/2017 by Bloomsbury Publishing (N/A) in the United Kingdom as part of the Unknown series
Paperback |


From the Duff Cooper Prize-winning author of The Restless Republic, a remarkable biography of one of the most intriguing figures of the Restoration era.

'Brilliant and revelatory ... a superb biography, which paints a vivid picture of the times and of her subject' Daily Telegraph'Fascinating, compelling, outrageous and ultimately tragic' Simon Sebag Montefiore'Written with the flair of a novelist and the punctilious skill of a forensic historian ... It is the best royal biography I have read in years' A.N. WilsonJames, Duke of Monmouth, the favoured illegitimate son of Charles II, was born in exile the year his grandfather Charles I was executed and the English monarchy abolished. Abducted from his mother on his father's orders, he emerged from a childhood in the backstreets of Rotterdam to command the ballrooms of Paris, the brothels of Covent Garden and the battlefields of Flanders.

Such was his appeal that when the monarchy itself came under threat, the cry was for Monmouth to succeed Charles II as king. He inspired both delight and disgust, adulation and abhorrence and, in time, love and loyalty. Louis XIV was his mentor, Nell Gwyn his protector, D'Artagnan his lieutenant, William of Orange his confidant, John Dryden his censor and John Locke his comrade.

In The Last Royal Rebel, Anna Keay matches rigorous scholarship with a storyteller's gift to enrapturing effect. She paints a vivid portrait of the warm, courageous and handsome Duke of Monmouth, a man who by his own admission 'lived a very dissolute and irregular life', but who was ultimately prepared to risk everything for honour and justice. His story, culminating in his fateful invasion, provides a sweeping chronicle of the turbulent decades in which England as we know it was forged.