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Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I

Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I [Kindle Edition]

Charles Spencer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A pacy, well-researched and beautifully written story of intrigue, betrayal and Realpolitik, but above all cold-blooded institutionalized revenge on a massive international scale Andrew Roberts Elegantly written . A clever and illuminating book The Times Accomplished and gruesome, this masterful account of the fate of the regicides breaks all barriers in weaving the lives - and the grim fates - of many into a seamless, pacy and riveting read, underpinned by the depth of scholarship for which Charles Spencer is renowned. An exceptional and highly original history book that sheds new light on one of England's bloodiest episodes Alison Weir Imagine The Odessa File re-written by Christopher Hill, and you will have some idea of the pleasure to be had in reading Killers of the King. The virtues of a thriller and of scholarship are potently combined Tom Holland Outstanding: a thrilling tale of retribution and bloody sacrifice, unflinching idealism and craven miscreancy. In fluent, measured, often witty prose, Killers of the King brilliantly evokes that febrile time when the hunters became the hunted and vengeance was avenged. Like all the best history books, it succeeds not only in telling a remarkable story, but also in illuminating the entire age Jessie Childs Very good . Dense and well-researched . Some of the stories are extraordinary . Spine-tingling detail The Times A colourful, blood-spattered account of the men who dared to execute Charles I - and how they were ruthlessly hunted down when his son, Charles II, was restored to the throne The Lady It reveals the shocking stories and fates of the men who signed the death warrant of Charles I who was executed in 1649 Western Daily Particularly intimate . has benefitted from the earl's access to private papers Observer Brilliant . Spencer gives us the gripping detective story about the hunt for the regicides across Britain and Europe . A thrilling tale of pursuit and resistance ... based on deep original archival research Independent High-octane . Spencer is a snappy storyteller Guardian Splendidly narrated but utterly gruesome . gripping from first to last **** Mail on Sunday Spencer tells the stories of these escapees, including three men who fled as far away as North America, with great verve and skill . It is gripping material and Spencer more than does it justice Literary Review

Book Description

Charles Spencer, the bestselling author of Blenheim: Battle for Europe, tells the shocking stories and fascinating fates of the men who signed Charles I's death warrant

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1211 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (11 Sep 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,249 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Historian. 'Killers of the King' published by Bloomsbury on 11 September in the UK, and on 20 January in the USA. 'Blenheim: Battle for Europe' was shortlisted for History Book of the Year at the 2005 National Book Awards. 1986-1995, Contributing Correspondent on the TODAY Show (NBC News). Founder of the Althorp Literary Festival - held in mid-June each year - in 2004. Wife, Karen, founded and runs Whole Child International - a charity that champions abandoned and orphaned children in the Developing World.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An original and gripping work of history 13 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Charles Spencer at first does an excellent job of covering Charles I's trial and execution but the bulk of Killers of the King addresses the best and bloodiest stories of the men that were hunted down (in Britain, Europe and America) who signed his death warrant. There are plenty of letters and first hand testimonies in book which relate to how various men faced their deaths and one cannot helped but be moved by the stoicism and courage of some. The behaviour of others proves less admirable however.
The author provides a balanced view on the old cause of the Civil War and allows the actions and letters of his subjects to speak for themselves. I particularly enjoyed the portrait of Downing, who is in some ways is the villain of the piece. Downing was cynical, greedy and a survivor. He highlights how, to a certain extent, politicians haven't really changed over the years.
Killers of the King is a book that can be read by Civil War enthusiasts and also general readers of history and historical biography. A minor criticism would be that the Killers of the King doesn't get to grips with the character of Charles II in the same way that it does Charles I but otherwise the author should be congratulated for writing such an original and gripping book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love 17th-century history? Get this book! 15 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The 17th-century is an extremely important part of European history, and yet it is often strangely overlooked by popular history and publishers. That's why I was so thrilled to learn about this new release. As I began the book, I got the impression that it was going to be a wholly sympathetic look at the regicides (king killers), and I am personally of the opinion that there has been too much work done from historians with extremist views, and so I was somewhat concerned. Would this be, as so many others before it, a purely biased book in favour of the Parliamentarians or the Royalists? As I continued reading, however, my concerns were unjustified and I was very pleasantly surprised to have found it to be one of the most balanced analyses of the English Civil Wars. There is no Marxist-driven agenda a la Christopher Hill (thank goodness!) but a remarkably well-rounded look at both sides of a still-controversial subject.

Charles II was understandably much aggrieved by the violent way in which his father had died, and with the Restoration in 1660, those who had been involved in his father’s execution were punished. With great detail, Spencer goes on to explain what happened to these men. It made for a gripping read, jam-packed with historical information, yet completely readable. This historian obviously spent a great deal of time doing archival research - it shows.

I was so impressed by Killers of the King, that I promptly ordered all the other books Spencer has written. If you love 17th-century history, as I do, you should read this book. If you are like most people, and don't know much about it, get this book!

I give this book 5/5.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine page turner 16 Sep 2014
By Mike
Really interesting take on what is often such an overlooked period in history. Book is almost like a chase movie in parts. The stories of condemned men range from the touching to the downright gruesome. Spencer drives the narrative forward well, only showing his hand - in terms of his judgement about the period - at the end. There were more victims and villains during Charles II's hunt for vengeance, but the author has wisely picked the most dramatic and representative incidents. The author quotes well, and the book is cleverly structured. Far more than most history books, Killers of the King is a genuine page turner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Only four stars and yet the book is brilliantly written and researched.

The historical notes and refences do not interfere with the flow of this tale at all. The research has been excellent and the references are both pertinent and academic. It was a mistake of mine to allocate bed-time-reading to this book as it often kept me up late. For those who don't know how the regicides were hunted down, this will read like a bounty hunter western but others will enjoy the lively connection of dates and names gleaned from precious manuscripts or poor photocopies.

I cannot be specific in my criticism without spoiling the 'plot' so please excuse the cloudiness. Page 130 will have you laughing your socks off or gasping with horror depending on your disposition. The last paragraph of the whole book, apart from the subtitle those 'Who Dared to Execute Charles I' gives away the author's bias which sadly falls on the side of regicides. Some attention is paid to the Parliamentarians who were imprisoned or, at the very least, forbidden access to Parliament by a military religiously fanatical dictator and his cronies who sought to undermine English democracy. It was those Parliamentarians who sought to dismember the regicides, even after the King and his sons Charles II and James II were deceased. After the rump and the barebones, the elected members became the ejected members and that was done by force. Those people wanted revenge as well as justice. Unlike the 'trial' of Charles I they had proper judges and were found guilty of a crime.

If you believe Charles II sought revenge for his father's murder, then I personally think he was justified to track down the culprits.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
An informative volume, delivered promptly. A great read.
Published 1 day ago by Freddo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by Mr. R. D. Cull
This is a highly-readable account of the historical events before and after the execution of Charles I. Read more
Published 1 day ago by BRIAN MOWAT
5.0 out of 5 stars What happened to Charles 1st executioners.
An excellent book telling us what happened after King Charles was executed. Exciting and interesting.
Published 1 day ago by Mr. O. D. Pickmere
5.0 out of 5 stars A non fiction book which reads almost like an historical thriller
This non fictional historiical account about the men who were behind Charles I's execution reads like a novel. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great insight into English History
Another great insight into English History. Not for the squeamish. Wonderfully written by the very knowledgable Charles Spencer.
Published 4 days ago by do wolfenden
2.0 out of 5 stars Not to be taken too seriously.
An interesting book.

It fills in many of the gaps about exactly what happened to Charles 1st after his arrest, including his taking up a mistress, while being... Read more
Published 6 days ago by j0nnyc
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent well-written book and highly recommended.
Published 7 days ago by T.Stanners
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An interesting book that should be enjoyed by scholars of British seventeenth century history.
Published 9 days ago by Chunkydunk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Ok but a bit too much info have to concerntration but Im enjoying it
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
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