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The Royal Stuarts: A History of the Family That Shaped Britain

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The Royal Stuarts: A History of the Family That Shaped Britain

4.3 (1965)

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    Available in PDF Format | The Royal Stuarts: A History of the Family That Shaped Britain.pdf | English
    Allan Massie(Author)

The Royal Stuarts ruled for over 300 years in Scotland and for a century as the Royal Family of Britain and Ireland. They were leading actors in the foremost political dramas of British history – the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Union of the Crowns, the English Civil War and the Restoration – and remain the most controversial and divisive of royal families.

Drawing on the accounts of historians past and present, novels and plays, Allan Massie tells the family’s full story, from the salt marshes of Brittany to the thrones of Scotland and England, and then eventual exile. A book which gets beyond the received generalisations, The Royal Stuarts takes us deep into the lives of figures like Mary Queen of Scots, Charles I and Bonnie Prince Charlie, uncovering a family of strong affections and fierce rivalries, the brave and capable, the weak and foolish.

Told with panache and pace, adventurous and opinionated, this is a nuanced history of that remarkable family who, for better or worse, shaped our history and made our country what it is.

`stirring and eloquent account of the Stuarts' --Scotland on Sunday'A highly readable and impressively panoramic history' -- The Scotsman`This is old-fashioned history, story-centred, monarch-focused, often judgemental. Yet these aspects are part of this saga's compelling readability...' -- FT'Lively and jauntily paced history' -- Sunday Times'arguments and issues, and the storyteller's gift for picking out... key actions or remarks...bring a person's character to life.'-- Sunday Telegraph`[Massie] combines dry wit and fondness for well constructed sentences with a novelist's sense of the enlivening detail.'-- Daily Express'A pleasure to read and psychologically compelling' -- The Spectator"It drips with blood, cruelty and tears... Evocative, visceral - haunting" --Daily Telegraph`To read the Stuart story delivered as strongly and as plainly as this is unexpectedly exhilarating and full of anticipations of more recent national and political history.'--The Observer, Brian Morton

4.2 (9288)
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Book details

  • PDF | 384 pages
  • Allan Massie(Author)
  • Jonathan Cape; 1st Edition edition (6 May 2010)
  • English
  • 4
  • Biography
Read online or download a free book: The Royal Stuarts: A History of the Family That Shaped Britain

Review Text

  • By Kolyei on 4 February 2012

    Well researched and interesting (by this I mean that it's not hard to follow and that I can read it at night before I go to sleep - a very important point). It doesn't assume a prior knowledge of Scotland's history either (in the earlier ... prior to 1603 ... chapters) which is good. It reads well on the kindle too ... no nasty genealogical charts with tiny little writing that I need a magnifying glass to see). I ENJOYED reading this book.

  • By C. McNamee on 26 October 2010

    Having paid E30 for the 'The Royal Stuarts', I had high hopes--which were quickly dashed the moment I opened it. It's not that I don't like Massie's style. It's just that the facts are extraordinarily muddled. Queen Anne is lauded as the first English monarch 'since [Elizabeth I] to have spent all her life in England, except for one visit to Scotland'. How do I put this gently? Not only did Anne spend 1668-1670 in France, she also visited Belgium (then called the Spanish Netherlands). And again: 'In 1691 [Anne] wrote to James [II] asking for his forgiveness. James was not impressed; no forgiveness was forthcoming.' While Mr Massie is entitled to his analysis, I, and many others, I'm sure, interpret James's reply--'I am confident that [Anne] is truly penitent since [Anne] tells me so' (Gregg, p 84)--to mean that he was impressed.Such sweeping assertions are typical of this book, and I could point keep pointing out its inaccuracies and errors. But that would be pointless.

  • By R. Rednall on 4 July 2010

    A book which a tells the story of the Royal Stuarts almost like a novel. It rips along giving details of each monarchs life, the trials and tribulations, the successes, the political and social backgrounds. It is not a dry academic tome swamped in detail but can be easily read and will give you a real insight to the individuals especially if you have not studied this period of Scottish history or you did it decades ago. Allan Massie gives his own assessment of each of the monarchs which you may agree with or disagree with because of your own prejudices.

  • By micmac on 13 December 2012

    A fascinating and informative history of the Stuarts from their origins in the salt marshes of Brittany through their good fortune to be in the right place at the right time when they gained their first foothold on the Crown of Scotland. The account takes one right through to the usurpation of the Crown by William and Mary and on to the two wretched efforts of the dynasty to recover the lost throne.

  • By Richard Cline on 15 July 2010

    In writing his book about the Royal Stuarts, Allan Massie does not try to overwhelm the reader with a plethora of facts. He devotes a concise chapter to each monarch or aspirant monarch which was the case once James II was bounced off the throne . If one is reasonably acquainted with the Stuart Dynasty, one does not need to read the chapters in sequence. I keep going back to the book to re-read about my Stuart favorites!Richard Cline

  • By sholto on 12 July 2010

    A good introductory work that draws together a number of threads.It makes one realize how extraordinary it was for the current Royal Family to have descended from what was only one of a number of Scottish baronial families that came to power with Robert the Bruce. It was fortunate enough to have married his daughter and there the story begins.The descent of Mary Queen of Scots from the Tudors together with her consort and cousin Henry Lord Darnley(who was also a Stuart in the male line) sealed the succession.One gets to know the wise James 1 who was assassinated by his nobles,James11 who in turn assassinated his chief rivals the Douglases,James 111,who has an unfortunate death, James 1V who has an even more unfortunate death for which he could blame no one but himself,James V,who was usurped by his french Queen,and Mary who romantic but unfortunate could not control the strong religious undercurrents of her reign.One then moves on to the robustly bisexual James1 of England who was something of a polymath by modern standards;Charles1,who seemed determined to put his head in harms way(one does not realize how diminutive he was barely over 5feet tall).Charles11 seems a much more robust character,who unfortunately had children by every woman in his Court,and out of it,but never by his wife;the severe William and Mary,the unfortunate Anne,none of whose children outlived her and the ultimate submission by the Whig Aristocracy of the family which could by now only claim a distant descent in the female line ,whilst the pretenders who could have had it all but for the mass,languished on the continent.A good read and at the end one feels that they are intensely human and somewhat vulnerable.

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