Leanda de Lisle on The White King
Less than forty years after the golden age of Elizabeth I, England was at war with itself. The bloody, devastating civil wars set family against family, friend against friend. At the head of this disintegrating kingdom was Charles I. His rule would change the face of the monarchy for ever. Charles I’s reign is one of the most dramatic in history, yet Charles the man remains elusive. Too often he is recalled as weak and stupid, his wife,Henrietta Maria, as spoilt and silly: the cause of his ruin.
With access to newly disclosed manuscripts, including letters between the king and his queen – Leanda de Lisle has uncovered a Charles I who was principled and brave, but also fatally blinkered. For Charles it ended on the scaffold – condemned as a traitor and murderer, but heralded as a martyr: his reign destined to sow the seeds of democracy across Britain and the New World.