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Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Biography Paperback – 18 Oct 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Robson Books Ltd; New edition edition (18 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861053967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861053961
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'A narrative as accomplished as any Ms Erickson has written. In her skilful portrait are the recognizable features both of the romantic hero of Scotland and of the bitter, disappointed exile.' Christopher Hibbert"

About the Author

Carolly Erickson, a prize-winning historian and biographer, became a full-time writer in 1970. She has written ten books, all published in the UK by Robson Books, including To the Scaffold: The Life of Marie Antoinette.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amelrode VINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
Charles Edward Stuart (1720 - 1788) was the exiled Jacobite claimant as the grandson of King James II to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He is most commonly known in English and Scots as Bonnie Prince Charlie. His opponents referred to him as The Young Pretender. He tried to reclaim his ancestors' throne, but the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746 ended all hopes for a restoration. His subsequent flight has become the stuff of legend. The remainder of his life was - with a brief exception - spent in exile. He died without leaving an new heir (he only had a natural daughter); his claim passed to his brother who was a cardinal. Effectively, the Catholic Stuart claim to the throne of England ended with him.

But who really was this Bonnie Prince Charlie, this man of legend? Well, this book shows who he was and why his attempts failed. There is the brief episode of his retrun and escape that gave him fame. But hehind the facade there was not much. One learns to understand this man, this prince and failed king and one understands why he failed in all he did. He ended as an alcoholic and abused his wife. He was a man who did not fullfil his destiny and had nothingelse. Sad in many ways, but in many ways one can be quite happy that he did not reign.

Carolly Erickson captures this prince to perfection. It is not too scholarly and but neither is it shallow.I enjoyed it very much.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Carolly Erickson's writing. She makes biography read like a novel and covers all the important point without beleaguring trivial information, I have enjoyed all of her books about the Tudors and can't wait to delve into this one. The book itself arrived in pristine condition and was well packaged.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good general biography of Prince Charles Edward Stuart 5 Feb. 1998
By - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This was a good summary of a lot of secondary source material on Bonnie Prince Charlie, condensed into a fairly short biography. It's an enjoyable leisurely read, but don't look for depth, great detail, or anything like original thought about Prince Charlie and what he meant in the context of Scottish, English, European, or Catholic history in the 18th century. This is not a good text for anyone already familiar with the Jacobites and looking for any new scholarship on the subject.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Overview of a Sad Life 24 April 2001
By Dana Keish - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The eldest son of James, the Old Pretender, Bonnie Price Charlie was raised to believe that the throne of England and Scotland was his destiny. Born in Italy and used as a pawn of Louis XV against George II, Charles was seen as a promising young man. In his early twenties, he sailed to Scotland and was able to convince several Highland chiefs to support his cause. Numerous victories came swiftly because the English were unprepared for the various attacks. However, once the English determined that the threat was real, Prince Charles and his troops were quickly over run. He returned to France where he was asked to leave and again settled in Italy. With no ambitions left to him, he quickly dissapated into an alcoholic daze. He fathered one child by a Scottish woman and later married a German princess but that marriage quickly soured. His later years were redeemed somewhat as his daughter Charlotte came to his aid. He died, leaving his youngest brother Henry as the last Stuart pretender to the throne. Henry was a Cardinal and therefore fathered no children so with his death the Stuart dynasty came to an end.
I enjoyed the book and found it useful for someone with limited knowledge of this time period. Not very detailed with but a good overview of events.
Four Stars 8 Jan. 2015
By Julie Schneekloth - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good shape
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Mediocre book and grating reading 1 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Far from being "as exciting as a novel," this pedestrian re-telling of what should be a fascinating story is bland and far from insightful. The author's evident unfamiliarity with even basic military and naval terminology leads one to wonder about the accuracy of other elements. (A ship-of-the-line is a "gunboat.") The Recorded Books version is read in a sneering, condescending delivery by an Englishman who whistles into the microphone every second sentence, producing a "nails on the blackboard" sensation which accentuates the discomfort.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Heroic exploits, tragic figure 14 Dec. 2000
By Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. - Published on
Format: Paperback
One has to look at the vicissitudes of life in the great tragic figures of history, Cortes, Columbus, Napoleon, etc., to find precedents in the relatively obscure life of Charles Edward Stuart, "The Great Young Pretender," Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Although towards the latter part of his life he came to stoop very low, he had, as a young man, decades earlier, reached out very high unto the stars with unwavering courage and determination in his conquest of Scotland and England. His defeat at Culloden in 1746 precipitated tragically what can only be described as the genocide of the Scottish Highlanders.
What a life! The life of Bonnie Prince Charlie is a study of human nature at its extreme. Belatedly, devastatingly, he found out the cruel fact that despite his forceful, determined personality, he was not the master of his own destiny. Be that as it may, he came to be vindicated.
This is a magnificent book of a great, albeit obscure, tragic figure of history.
Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), and author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995) and Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997).
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