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Blood of Kings: The Stuarts, the Ruthvens and the 'Gowrie Conspiracy' [Hardcover]

J.D. Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: 16.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 2010
Blood of Kings is a story of murder, lust for power and revenge. Of a plot to kill King James Stuart that proved far more dangerous to his life than the nearly contemporary Gunpowder Plot. Of a plot so devilish that Shakespeare used it as the basis for Macbeth. Of a mighty dynasty humiliated during the posthumous trial of two corpses propped up in a courtroom. Of lords who dabbled in black magic and were immortalised as warlocks and vampires. Of noblemen who deposed a queen and kidnapped a king. Of the dark conspiracies that formed during the dying days of Queen Elizabeth the First. Blood of Kings also reveals startling evidence that links the Gowrie Conspiracy of 1600 to an assassination that changed the course of European history, and considers the possibility that the bloodline of Mary Queen of Scots down to and including the present royal family might have no legitimate right to the throne. The book focuses primarily on the Gowrie conspiracy of 1600. On 5 August of that year, John Ruthven, third Earl of Gowrie, and his brother Alexander, were killed in mysterious circumstances in front of King James VI of Scots, soon to be James I of England, at Gowrie House in Perth. King James alleged that he had been lured there under false pretences, which centred on a tale of a mysterious stranger carrying a pot of gold, and that the Ruthven brothers had then attempted to assassinate him. Apologists for the Ruthvens claimed that the family had been wiped out in a cynical royal pogrom, inspired perhaps by fear, jealousy or thwarted homosexual lust, which was then systematically covered up by the state. Shakespeare subsequently used the official version of the events at Gowrie House as one of the principal inspirations for the plot of Macbeth . Blood of Kings also suggests that the Gowrie conspiracy was actually more significant for the future course of British history than the nearly contemporary Gunpowder Plot . Although relatively little known today, the conspiracy remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of British history, and Blood of Kings provides the most detailed account of it for over a century. Blood of Kings is also the first work ever to set the story of the Gowrie conspiracy fully in the contexts of the relationship between the Stuart and Ruthven families over a 50-year period, and of European and Anglo-Scots power politics during an age that many contemporaries regarded as the apocalyptic final conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing (1 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711035261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711035263
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 434,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Wales in 1957, J D Davies was educated at Llanelli Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford, where he completed a doctorate in 17th century naval history. He taught History for thirty years, chiefly at Bedford Modern School, where he also served as a Deputy Headmaster. He won the Samuel Pepys prize in 2009 for his book, 'Pepys's Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89', and is also a previous winner of the Julian Corbett prize for naval history. His acclaimed series of naval historical fiction, 'The Journals of Matthew Quinton', has been published in the UK, North America and Germany. David is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a former Chairman of the Naval Dockyards Society and Vice-President of the Society for Nautical Research.

Product Description

About the Author

J. D. Davies was born in Wales and now lives in Bedfordshire where he teaches part-time at Bedford Modern. He is the foremost expert on the seventeenth-century navy and has written a non-fiction book, Pepy's Navy, for Seaforth Publishing. More recently, he has completed Gentleman Captain, the first in The Journals of Matthew Quinton trilogy of fiction books for Old Street Publishing. The author recently won the Samuel Pepys award for his last non-fiction book, Pepys's Navy (apparently it was a unanimous vote by the panel, which included Claire Tomalin and Sir Keith Thomas).

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruthven history 24 Dec 2010
Having just discovered the book 'Blood Kings' I was keen to read it. The ordering and deliver went well and my initial impression is that it covers much of the Ruthven history that I have been looking for but unable to find.
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