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The King's Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History Paperback – 1 Aug 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349123764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349123769
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Jordan and Walsh provide a thoroughly entertaining account of these extraordinary events . . . a vivid and consuming piece of historical narrative (Andrew Holgate Sunday Times)

A fast-paced, lively work (BBC History Magazine)

In this beautifully detailed and seamlessly written book Jordan and Walsh shine a new light on Charles II . . . their energetic and masterful account makes for a Restoration romp worth reading (Sunday Express)

This is a terrific read (Spectator)

An absorbing history packed with more plotting than an episode of The Borgias. (Booklist)

Book Description

A blistering narrative of one of the most exciting periods in British history that will appeal to readers of historical fiction and non-fiction alike.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you did not know this was a factual history book, it would be easy to believe it was a historical novel - so full of espionage, plots, assassinations and excitement, it is almost hard to credit that it happened. Yet, it did. This book tells the fate of the men who dared to sit in judgement upon King Charles I, known simply as the regicides. After the death of his father, his eldest son, later Charles II, vowed vengeance on those he blamed for the execution of Charles I. When he was invited, in 1660, to return and take up his throne, he unleashed an unrelenting manhunt for all who had signed the death warrant, and even some who were involved in lesser ways.

This interesting and well written read begins with the capture of Charles I, his trial and execution. It is fair to say that even while the country was in the throes of Civil War and rebellion, many of those called to take part in the trial had decided that it was unwise to be involved and either refused to participate or made excuses why they could not attend. They were the lucky ones. For those either involved out of choice, or forced to participate, the manhunt which followed was relentless. While Cromwell was still in power he faced plots, dissent and hastily arranged assassination attempts. These included one in which an assassin had organised a fast horse for a quick getaway, only to find himself beckoned over by Cromwell, who was impressed by his mount. Too stunned to shoot, the nonplussed assassin made polite conversation, his nerves broken down by the encounter.

When Cromwell died in 1658, fifteen of the sixty nine judges responsible for the fate of Charles I were already dead.
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By Uncle Barbar TOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a huge fan of the civil war I was looking forward to this non-fiction book on the fate of the regicides. The authors would have you believe that the parliamentary cause was all good and the royalist one bad; that all the crimes committed during the war were the fault of the King, rupert and his side; and that Charles II's hunt for the regicides was just vindictive. Eh? If my father had been captured and put through a mock trial and then beheaded, I'd want to get hold of those responsible! Charles II HAD to show that treason and regicide could not just be condoned or swept under the carpet. I am not a Royalist - far from it. My sympathies lie with the Levellers. I hate the hypocracy of Cromwell and his ilk who appear to be for the "common man" until they want the right to vote and equality, when Cromwell's cronies put them down at the point of a sword.

The angle from those who went to North America was interesting and I enjoyed that aspect of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book but I felt the title was a little misleading. A large part of the story is taken up with the events leading up to the civil war, the republican period and the Restoration - almost the first half of the book if I remember right, rather than the tracking down of regicides. I think this is because there perhaps isn't actually all that much detailed information available on the actual manhunts themselves. There are times when this reads like a thriller as other reviewers have said, but much of the time it is a standard history book. But it is a good, readable history book, not at all dry or stuffy, and although I was slightly disappointed with the 'manhunt' aspect I'd still recommend it. I've knocked one star off because few books are that special and this is good but not that good, and another because it wasn't quite the thrilling subject matter I was hoping for.
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Format: Hardcover
The attitude of the writers is summed up in the title: 'revenge'. Why not 'The King's Justice' ?
They portray Charles as wild,vengeful, lazy and autocratic which is a vast over simplification - see the much better book 'A Gambling Man' for a more measured picture of his talents and abilities.
Their sources seem to very old fashioned - they even quote Edmund Burke as an 'historian'.
They treat General Monck with no synmpathy never taking seriously the most obvious reasond for his actions: he knew that the people wanted a King again and that the stability of the country could only be secured by bringing Charles back.
They never deal with
a) the utter intolerance of the Cromwellian reign: 'tolerance' excluded Anglicans and Catholics who were after all the majority of the population
b) the reality of what Cromwell had done in killing the King against the wishes of the vast majority of the people
c) the very real threat that the Puritans and their allies continued to be to the stability of the constitution: they would have done the same to Charles as they had done to his father if they had the chance

Its all a bit breathless in style
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative but also rather repetitive, reading it shows the hypo racy of both sides, always was a royalist, but Charles certainly pushed his lunch a time or two too many, only three stars because of the repetition, but worthwhile history lesson.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book starts off with a bang, suspicious people hanging around outside doorways, wanted people escaping from temporary lodgings etc. However, the story quickly rewinds back to Charles I and tells of his war, trial and execution, followed by Monck and the return of Charles II. Only then do we really get back to what the point of the book's title indicates. Unfortunately, half the book is gone by that point, which is my principle disappointment, but it's to be assumed there is little factual remaining evidence to cast a longer story. However, overlooking this, it's a fascinating account with good portrayals of the main players.
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