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Prince Rupert

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Prince Rupert is best known as the poster boy of the Royalist cause. He was the dynamic leader of Charles I's Cavaliers – the fearless champion of the King.

In this new exploration Charles Spencer follows the prince from his exile and three years a prisoner of war, to his exhilarating years in the Civil War.

After Royalist defeat Rupert served Louis XIV, before leading Charl
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 29th 2008 by Phoenix (first published June 12th 2007)
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There isn't, technically, a map at the front, but there are several maps, and they serve the map-in-the-front purpose, so . . . so there. Also, not an actual selection of the SILS book club, but the club chose Biography/Memoir for this month's reading theme, and I picked this one because I remembered Prince Rupert of the Rhine as an intriguing figure in my awesome Stuart England class from undergrad.

Which memory, by the way, was spot-on. This exhaustively researched and well-cited book follows R
Jill Hutchinson
An excellent biography of the last Cavalier, written by Charles, Earl Spencer. Prince Rupert fought for the Royalists as Charles I was being overthrown in the Civil War. He continued to be a supporter of the royal dynasty even after the King was executed. He came back to England when Charles II took the throne and was a respected advisor to the King. A very interesting man in a time of unrest and revolution in England. Recommended.
Just A. Bean
Apr 10, 2014 Just A. Bean rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
The book certainly gave a nice look at the wider politics of the time, and where Rupert fit into them, which I appreciated, and Rupert himself led such a varied and interesting life that that had to hold one's attention.

However, the book spent too much time on the Civil War years, which dragged, and the author got, at times, very defensive of Rupert and went to great lengths to excuse his flaws and bad behaviour and make his rivals look bad. I get the urge to side with your guy, as it were, but
Apr 18, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As someone who prefers to learn through fiction, I often struggle to find the motivation to start reading a long non-fiction book, especially one by an author I’ve never tried before. I’ve had this one on my Kindle since last year waiting until it was the right time to read it – and that time came a couple of weeks ago after I read The White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge, a novel in which one of the main characters fights alongside Prince Rupert in the English Civil War. Rupert has a relatively mino ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Feb 09, 2012 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
‘It is hard to believe that one man packed so much into a single lifetime.’

Prince Rupert of the Rhine, grandson of King James I of England, was a famed warrior on the royalist side in the English civil war. Prince Rupert was born on 17 December, 1619 in Prague, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic) and died on November 29, 1682 in London England. His parents, Elizabeth and Frederick (the Elector Palatine) were briefly king and queen of Bohemia but were ejected when Rupert, their third child and se
Tony Pedley
Feb 18, 2014 Tony Pedley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prince Rupert was involved in some of the pivotal moments of British and European history. Despite that he is not widely known. This book sets this right by painting a picture of a extraordinary man in extraordinary times.

Although Prince Rupert is most widely known for his part in the English Civil War, this part of his life actually only takes up 4 chapters. If anything this shows what a long and varying life the Prince had. Anyone with an interest in the civil war who is put off by this should
Grady McCallie
Dec 14, 2014 Grady McCallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to imagine this biography of Prince Rupert being much use to anyone who isn't already interested in the English Civil War or Restoration Eras. For anyone who is, however, it offers a very sympathetic portrait of a figure who usually shows up on the periphery of standard accounts. Spencer tells the story well, tracing Rupert's service in European Wars; on behalf of the ill-fated Charles I; as a pirate during the Interregnum; and as a cousin of King Charles II after 1660. While Spencer a ...more
R.M.F Brown
Dec 27, 2013 R.M.F Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What should a good man be? Posed Marcus Aurelius centuries ago.

Rupert, like Bismarck and Churchill after him, appear to have spent their whole lives seeking to answer this question at every opportunity. Their devotion to duty, a love of adventure over an ease of life, their calculated gambling in the best Nietzschean tradition, their refusal to die or even to surrender when the odds were against them...

All of this portrays driven men determined to make their mark on life, determined to answer th
Abigail Hartman
A well-written and fairly even-handed biography of Rupert, who is best known for his role in England's Civil War. It would have been nice had Spencer given a brief background to that conflict and introduced the reader a little more thoroughly to the figures on the Parlimentarian side (he obviously has little love for Cromwell - hardly surprising). I would not call the book "riveting;" some sections dragged, since Rupert did little of significance after the war. Still, it was, on the whole, instr ...more
Nov 14, 2009 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this after I found out that my husband's family is descended from this man. I had no idea who he was, but he was a pretty fascinating guy. The biography is enthralling in parts. It did spend most of the book during the English Civil War, which is understandable, but I did wish for a little more background of other parts of his life. I enjoyed this, and I'll hold onto it in case my kids ever want to read up on their ancestor.
Sally Moore
Apr 06, 2015 Sally Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charles Spencer is one of my favourite non-fiction writers, and this biography is very good. Rupert was a fascinating person, and his life was never easy. Spencer's writing style is so readable, it feels like you are reading an adventure story, but the facts and sources are thoroughly presented and examined. I read this several months ago, but it feels like yesterday because the events are so vividly rendered, and Rupert's life and challenges so poignant.
May 20, 2016 Doris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read much about the English Civil War or Restoration, so I hadn't heard of Prince Rupert before. An engaging biography, albeit a little heavy (necessarily so, but still...) on military history for my taste.

Favorite line (speaking of Charles II's childless wife, Catharine of Braganza): "Catharine's physician encouraged dancing, believing it would jiggle the queen's reproductive system and help her to conceive." (Alas, it didn't.)
Neil Ward
Sep 30, 2016 Neil Ward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating character

Much maligned by contemporary propagandists Rupert's true character still shines down through the ages. History may be written by the victors but some characters still make their mark despite vilification. This is a well written rendition of his life story, very readable and thoroughly recommended.
Aug 09, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
This was a well written biog. of an interesting character, my olny complaint is that the book did focus on the period of the English Civil War, to the detriment of the long and eventful life Rupert lived after this period. It is obvious to focus on this action packed period of course but I did feel that the post civil war period was not covered in such great depth because of this.
Jan 18, 2014 Lezley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book. I've always had a soft spot for Richard III and now he has competition....Prince Rupert. What an incredible man! He never stopped moving, thinking, researching, inventing, and exploring. I look forward to more books by Charles Spencer because his non-fiction is more exciting than most authors' fiction.
Stella Riley
Informative, enjoyable and easy to read but not the best biography of Rupert. Personally, I prefer the one by Patrich Morrah. At times, I felt Spencer was relying too much on primary quotes and not enough on insight.
Stevie Carroll
Jan 27, 2014 Stevie Carroll rated it really liked it
I may have a new favourite Prince Rupert biography. Rather light on the Prince's pre-reformation loves but more in depth than other single volumes on his adventures after the execution of Charles I. Another book I need to get my own copy of.
Leona Gardiner
Aug 13, 2016 Leona Gardiner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and researched...very interesting member of a royal family in Europe with connections to England. Informative history on founding of our Hudson Bay Company. Spencer has really done his homework here.
Dec 01, 2014 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have learnt a bit more about the civil war and Prince Rupert, but too much detail about all the warfare he was involved in.
Betty Adams
Nov 19, 2015 Betty Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tale well-told and well-researched!
Oct 26, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 30, 2015 Morleymor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The structure and actions of English Civil War society is well documented in this very comprehensive biography. An engrossing read.
Yury Lyandres
Dec 01, 2014 Yury Lyandres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england
Принц Руперт "Рейнский": доблестный полковник, гордый генерал, рисковый капер, непотичный адмирал. Холостяк и один из отцов-основателей "Компании Гудзонова Залива".
Finally gave up on this - it's been a pretty hard slog, and I got about 60 percent through. I do find some of the historical information interesting and educational, but the writing is dead boring.
Endeavour Press
Aug 21, 2014 Endeavour Press rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book is published by Endeavour Press
Quite heavy going but interesting.
Lisa Spillane
Lisa Spillane rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2012
Daniel rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2015
Sam McLean
Sam McLean rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2015
Rachel Jhinku
Rachel Jhinku rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2015
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Charles Edward Maurice Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, DL is the second and only surviving son of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and the Honourable Frances Roche (later Frances Shand Kydd), daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. The youngest of his three older sisters was Diana, Prin
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