Top positive review
Admirable and blessedly clear.
12 March 2014
This book by Trevor Royle tells in admirably clear prose the story of the religious and political origins of the Protestant revolution, the heated and absolutist religious mindset in the post-Reformation period and how this was in collision with an equally absolutist monarch obsessed with his divine right as king in all civil and religious matters.
The tortuous course of this story is made accessible through Royle's formidable narrative gifts. An easily grasped perspective is maintained throughout, as the campaigns in England, Scotland and Ireland, with their differing agendas and nuances, work themselves out. The human dimension is maintained also: the pain and tragedy inflicted is borne by real people, and it is real people also, inflamed by the passions of the times, who dish it out. Yes, civil war stinks, and, in Royle's hands you can smell it even while you admire, as well, the frequent gallantry even by those who turned their coats not once but several times.
Finally, you feel, in spite of yourself, for a King with an ossified mind, trapped on the top of tge watershed between medievalism and the beginnings of modernity. At the end, Royle leads you to feel it all had to happen anyway.
A wonderful read, and a deceptively profound work.