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King James VI of Scotland, I of England (Kings & Queens of England) [Paperback]

Antonia Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 April 1994 0297833170 978-0297833178 New edition
When King James VI of Scotland inherited the throne of England in 1603 he had ruled his native land almost as long as had Queen Elizabeth. He showed both vision and determination in pursuing his major political goals: a united Britain, and a foreign policy based on peace rather than bellicose chauvinism. Of course, there was a darker side: in the face of growing Parliamentary opposition, he would need all his celebrated wisdom to prevent open conflict. This book is a sympathetic portrait of a worthy first king of Great Britain.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New edition edition (21 April 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297833170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297833178
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 965,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A curtain-raiser 16 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As King from 1603 to 1625, a not very interesting monarch reigned during a fascinating historical period. How long did it take for a Parliamentary groundswell to culminate in Britain's Civil War? How had Britain's rapport with Spain evolved between the Spanish Armada and the Thirty Years War? How Papist were James and his son Charles and why? As the author herself professes, this is more biographical essay than book, which is all you really need to help set the scene for the far more interesting developments in 17th century Europe - the Dutch, the New World, the Thirty Years War, the Sun King and so on. A short, valuable and elegant read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and accessible 30 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first of Antonia Fraser's books that I have read. Truth to tell I have hitherto resisted on the mistaken grounds that I thought her writing would be lightweight. This previous `thinking' I based on her popularity across the decades. Well more fool me!

Her writing is intelligent and accessible, a combination which makes for a good read.

This book is slim and thus represents somewhat of a fast canter through King James' life. It should be regarded as a good introduction, giving an overview from which one can dive deeper in other books - although these seem to be thin on the ground.

King James' contributions have largely been overlooked by later events in C17th, but it was he who gave us the beautifully written King James Bible and who `created' Great Britain, by the union of England and Scotland. He it was who first introduced Arab blood into racehorses and he had foresight in taking a very dim view of tobacco.

Fraser in her introduction tells us that she has attempted to portray James in the round, talking about both his good and his bad points and to put the latter, in particular within their context - primarily his cold, stern and at times dangerous upbringing and the debt that he inherited from his predecessor Elizabeth. I think she has achieved this; I detect no obvious bias.

It also reveals how James' reign, to an extent, set Charles I up on the collision course that became his reign.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in dipping his or her toe into the beginning of the Stuart dynasty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King Jame VI 3 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brilliant,, once again, Antonia, gets it right, her books are amazing, and I have them all, love history? then her books are for you,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars all about james-the man-the legend 21 Mar 2010
By Melissa A. Halliday - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this covers eveything about king james. from his birth to death. it has ALOT of illustrations- some are in black/white and some are color. it even shows examples of james's handwriting. this book covers the whole life of james and reveals much more about all the people involved with james and all the events in his life. i would suggest this as a "starter" book for someone wanting to learn about king james. an awesome book! do not pass this up.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good intro history 30 May 2009
By Jen - Published on
Good review of the reign of King James. I would recommend this to people who just want a brief introduction to fix the major players in their heads before they move on to more detailed works. I really appreciated the variety of pictures included in this volume.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare content 25 Feb 2014
By Hilary Hossink - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is very detailed about the people and work that went in to the creation of the King James Bible. I've noticed it's difficult to find information on this topic but this was very informative.
4.0 out of 5 stars good book on an enigmatic king 6 Jan 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I didn't know anything about James other than he had famous parents and he commissioned a Bible translation. Me. Fraser provided me more info about James's life and reign.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Positive Take on James VI 13 Dec 2013
By Montye C. Male - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Antonia Fraser is very interested in exploring the much maligned character of James VI, who is one of history's enigmas. I was looking more for "just the facts," but if I were looking for a character study that was not the norm on this King, I would have liked it better. Fraser is an excellent writer and her perspective is not a common one.
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