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The Cradle King: The Life of James VI and I, The First Monarch of a United Great Britain
by Alan Stewart
As the son of Mary Queen of Scots, born into her 'bloody nest,' James had the most precarious of childhoods. Even before his birth, his life was threatened: it was rumored that his father, Henry, had tried to make the pregnant Mary miscarraige by forcing her to witness the assasination of her supposed lover, David Riccio. By the time James was a one-year-old, Henry was mur...more
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James (VI or I, depending on your perspective) was very much a King of two reigns - his first as King of Scotland and his second as King of a somewhat less-than-united England and Scotland. In the same vein this book is very much one of two halves. The first half of the book is almost entirely about events in Scotland; when Elizabeth dies and James becomes King of both England and Scotland the focus almost entirely shifts south and Scotland is scarcely mentioned again. Considering how disruptive ...more
The Cradle King is an academic study of James Vi and I of England - the first monarch of a United Great Britain. In many spots, the book is incredibly informative and entertaining but I found that some of the chapters were a bit ponderous. The sections involving religion were important to the historical narrative but I felt that they were written with less flair than the political intrigues covered. Overall, I would recommend this book to someone with an intense interest in British history but i ...more
An extremely detailed biography of King James (Scotland/England). A man whose father died in an explosion and whose mother was locked up by Queen Elizabeth I for many years and eventually executed for treason against that same monarch. This was a king raised by men and during a time of turbulence and violence in Scotland. Warring factions battled for control of both the country and himself. Nearly everything you would ever need to know about him is in this book but I had to force myself to finis ...more
A very interesting read however I question some of the facts because I think them inaccurate though it may merely be a difference of opinion between myself and the author. I've come to treasure King James, a character and Scot, who suffers at the hands of anti-Scot critics. James is the king who is both wise Solomon and also impulsive and one not to hear reason even when it comes to English Common Law. Very interesting read.