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Started by surferboogiewhatever on Mar 1, 2021 1:07:18 PM
Books about the Stuarts

I would like to read more about the Stuart era - kings or commoners, fiction or non-fiction. It's occurred to me that apart from the Commonwealth and the Gunpowder Plot, it's not covered much either in schools or in the public imagination. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Post by deleted user
Arjuna - 01 Mar 2021 13:23:34 (#2 of 51)

I would recommend two books by Tim Harris

Rebellion: Britain's First Stuart Kings, 1567-1642

Restoration: Charles II and His Kingdoms, 1660-1685

and a third

Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685-1720

if you want to know how it ended

ReverendBlueJeans - 01 Mar 2021 13:26:49 (#3 of 51)

The Stewarts, of course, did not begin in 1603 or even 1567.

Quick but authoritative introduction by the late Prof Richard Oram The Stewarts, Tempus 2002.

There have been some right good books about James IV and V. Take your pick.

Eligelis - 01 Mar 2021 13:27:07 (#4 of 51)

Well there are Samuel Pepys' Diaries, for a good look into the living in London during the period.

Also - the Time Travellers Guide to Restoration Britain:

FrankieTeardrop - 01 Mar 2021 13:29:21 (#5 of 51)

The Stewarts, of course, did not begin in 1603 or even 1567.

Yes they did, James I was crowned in 1603, starting the Stuart dynasty

Ginmonkey - 01 Mar 2021 13:33:09 (#6 of 51)

Rebels and Traitors by Lindsey Davies is an enjoyable fictional account of two ordinary families on different sides of the civil war.

surferboogiewhatever - 01 Mar 2021 13:35:14 (#7 of 51)

I take RBJ's point, actually - I thought about apologising to Scots in the thread header, then wondered if it would be seen as pedantic and wussed out. I did indeed mean the Stuart dynasty in England, but I'm aware that they existed before that (James's numbers are a bit of a giveaway!)

Thanks for all the recommendations - when I'm working in the library tomorrow I'm going on a reserving binge!

Tylenol - 01 Mar 2021 13:35:38 (#8 of 51)

Claire Tomalin's The Unequalled Self, if you want to know about Pepys without trawling the diaries. A fair amount about how people lived, family, work, entertainment.

ReverendBlueJeans - 01 Mar 2021 13:36:42 (#9 of 51)

A study of royal power in Scotland before 1603 can inform our understanding of Stewart rule in the early days of the United Kingdom, yet it is usually overlooked in popular history, especially on telly.

It's been superseded in many details of scholarship but for a general look at the exercise of Stewart power in 16th Scotland you still can't beat TC Smout's History of the Scottish People 1560-1830

Trevor Royle's Wars of the Three Kingdoms can't be bettered in untangling 1630s-1660s issues.

Arjuna - 01 Mar 2021 13:38:17 (#10 of 51)

The Stewarts were around a bit before The Stuarts

Tadagee - 01 Mar 2021 13:39:03 (#11 of 51)

My favourite Stuart factoid. After Charles II's illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth's frankly utterly rubbish rebellion which saw him having his head chopped off to death, someone realised that there was no official portrait of him and, traitor though he was, he was still a royal traitor who needed a portrait.

so they sewed his head back on to paint this...

nac1001 - 01 Mar 2021 13:39:57 (#12 of 51)

The Royle book is good. Also for some of the background to the Civil War(s) the first few episodes of the Revolutions podcast is good - a lot about Charles I from 1625 to the start of the wars.

PaperRustler - 01 Mar 2021 13:42:44 (#13 of 51)

#11 - yikes. I wish I didn't know that.

Arjuna - 01 Mar 2021 13:51:01 (#14 of 51)

explains the scarf

deadmanwalking23 - 01 Mar 2021 13:51:32 (#15 of 51)

Stuart Little

RosyLovelady - 01 Mar 2021 13:59:05 (#16 of 51)

Christopher Hill: The Century of Revolution was considered a bit daring when it was first published, which was just about the time when I was studying the period for A-Level.

surferboogiewhatever - 01 Mar 2021 14:14:23 (#17 of 51)

so they sewed his head back on

Looks like they got the angle a bit wrong.

virgil5 - 01 Mar 2021 15:21:12 (#18 of 51)

I’m doing artwork on “The Glorious Revolution” period.

I consider William of Orange and Mary Stuart to be a pivotable point in history, and can’t get enough about them.


champagnerocker - 01 Mar 2021 15:27:27 (#19 of 51)

If I recall correctly the chap whose job it was to off Monmouth took seven chops.

RosyLovelady - 01 Mar 2021 15:28:22 (#20 of 51)

I thought that was the Chas I chopper.

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