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Rebellion: Britain's First Stuart Kings, 1567-1642 [Kindle Edition]

Tim Harris
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A gripping new account of one of the most important and exciting periods of British and Irish history: the reign of the first two Stuart kings, from 1567 to the outbreak of civil war in 1642 - and why ultimately all three of their kingdoms were to rise in rebellion against Stuart rule.

Both James VI and I and his son Charles I were reforming monarchs, who endeavoured to bolster the authority of the crown and bring the churches in their separate kingdoms into closer harmony with one another. Many of James's initiatives proved controversial - his promotion of the plantation of Ulster, his reintroduction of bishops and ceremonies into the Scottish kirk, and his stormy relationship with his English parliaments over religion and finance - but he just about got by. Charles, despite
continuing many of his father's policies in church and state, soon ran into difficulties and provoked all three of his kingdoms to rise in rebellion: first Scotland in 1638, then Ireland in 1641, and finally England in 1642.

Was Charles's failure, then, a personal one; was he simply not up to the job? Or was the multiple-kingdom inheritance fundamentally unmanageable, so that it was only a matter of time before things fell apart? Did perhaps the way that James sought to address his problems have the effect of making things more difficult for his son? Tim Harris addresses all these questions and more in this wide-ranging and deeply researched new account, dealing with high politics and low, constitutional and
religious conflict, propaganda and public opinion across the three kingdoms - while also paying due attention to the broader European and Atlantic contexts.

Product Description


Tim Harris brings a wonderful freshness, directness, and authority to this account of the reigns of two contentious monarchs. Combining depth and breadth of reading, he offers much to the specialist and to someone new to the period. (John Morrill, University of Cambridge, and editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor and Stuart Britain)

An up-to-date overview of the politics of these crucial years, informed by the most influential writing in this area as well as Tim Harris's own expertise. It is leavened with dry wit and fresh examples: a thorough account of where the centre of gravity of academic opinion now lies and range of possible interpretations around the centre. (Michael Braddick, Times Literary Supplement)

... an outstandingly successful book... producing a summary of four decades of discussion that is well-written and well-researched enough to look consensual...It is a thoroughly convincing portrait, fluently sustained through such a large and readable book, and as such deserves to take its place as the standard student text on the period. (Gary Day, The Times Higher Education)

[Harris] has written one of the best accounts available of what led to war ... He has produced one of the most comprehensive and multifaceted accounts of the time of his generation (Jerry Brotton, Sunday Times)

For anyone wanting a succinct and reliable guide to the impact of the Stuart government in all its constituent territories, this book will henceforth be the starting point of choice Rebellion is a work of ambitious range, elegant concision and unfailingly, stimulating argument. (John Adamson, Literary Review)

It is a thoroughly convincing portrait, fluently sustained through such a large and readable book, and as such deserves to take its place as the standard student text on the period. (Ronald Hutton, Times Higher Education)

Harris provides a thrilling narrative with plenty of solid history and some surprises along the way. (Steve Craggs, Northern Echo)

Formidably large and well-researched. (Spectator)

Harris brings an enormous amount of information and scholarship to bear on the tiniest of moments ... Harris is always a precise guide and his sensible and weighty conclusions are well argued. (Jerome de Groot, History Today)

About the Author

Tim Harris is Munro-Goodwin-Wilkinson Professor in European History at Brown University. He is the author of numerous essays, articles, and books on British history in the early modern period, including most recently Restoration: Charles II and His Kingdoms 1660-1685 (2005) and Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685-1720 (2006).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3492 KB
  • Print Length: 596 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199209006
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (7 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,960 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tim Harris's book is clear, well-written and accessible to the general reader. It finally made comprehensible to me this important period of early seventeenth century history, which has suffered in comparison with the national obsession with the Tudors. It will not appeal to the growing number of people who seem to be unable to distinguish historical fiction from real history and are disturbed by the intrusion of 'facts' and intellectual argument into a serious book but as a synthesis of recent research and thinking on the first two Stuart kings, coupled with Harris's own interpretation of the period, it is likely to remain unsurpassed for many years. The only reason I have given it four, and not five stars, is that it has a wholly inadequate index, something that was pointed out in press reviews. It is somewhat astonishing that Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles I, doesn't appear in the index, one of a number of curious omissions. Given the quality of the book as a whole, it is a shame that more care was not put into the process of indexing, and that neither Tim Harris or his publisher questioned this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough 22 Jun. 2014
By JuliaH
Excellent text developing issues of James' reign and the implications for Charles. Very informative. A must have reference for the early Stuarts.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value, full of interest 26 Mar. 2014
By Bob1
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good value, full of interest. Anyone interested in this period of history should read this book. Well worth the money.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable new book on early Stuarts 9 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This marvellously written book really draws together the history of the early Stuart kings and creates a compelling and readable narrative that can be used by undergraduates, sixth formers and the general reader. Bang up to date as a synthesis of scholarship, I heartily recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written and lucid summary of complex period 24 April 2014
By Walter Stjohn - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Professor Harris' summary of conditions which led to the Civil War is wonderfully and lucidly presented. The reigns of James I and Charles I, and the difficulties that each faced, are set out. Likewise, the personalities of each which, in part, presaged their failures are also well presented.

I would and have recommended these books to others. Perhaps, inevitably, this book might be a bit difficult without some background knowledge of the period. Yet, Professor Harris is better than most professional historians in providing a background for the non-professional reader.
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