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on 3 December 2011
Historians rarely make the best writers - and writers, bless 'em, are the last people you want to trust with historical fact.
(Historian) Lockyer's work on the life of the 1st Duke of Buckingham, is comprehensive, researched in fascinating detail, and should be considered the ultimate tome on George Villiers, a man beloved by a monarch and loathed by an entire nation.
The author pieces together the Duke's life like an enormous jigsaw, in the sort of minute detail that has you wondering whether he actually ventured out of the library/National Archives/Record Offices for a decade.
But if there is a criticism to be had, it is simply that the tale lacks colour -something its subject had in spades.
Was Villiers James I lover? Or simply the rather paranoid kings closest ally and friend? What did Buckingham's wife feel about what any woman of flesh and blood would consider a suffocating menage a trois?
Perhaps it doesn't matter. Perhaps, we've been Phillipa Gregorie-d into wanting history with high drama. Perhaps, as Lockyer does, we should simply let the facts speak for themselves.
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