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King Charles II (Part One)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Following a youth of poverty and bitter exile after his father's execution, the ousted King Charles first challenged, then made his magnificent escape from Cromwell's troops before he was eventually restored to his throne in triumph in 1660.

Spanning his life both before and after the restoration, Antonia Fraser's biography captured all the vitality of the man and the expan
Paperback, 418 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Phoenix
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Sean Muhlstein
May 27, 2011 Sean Muhlstein rated it really liked it
A typically well-researched and exhaustive biography by Antonia Fraser that, like her volume on Marie-Antoinette, leaves your feeling strangely distanced from the title subject. She does an excellent job in situating her subject, here King Charles II, within his historical moment, but I can't help but feel like, even after 600+ pages, I don't know who the man is. Perhaps a measure of my displacement has less to do with Miss Fraser and more with the nature of identity-formulation in the 17th cent ...more
Tom Nixon
Sep 23, 2016 Tom Nixon rated it liked it
Why do I do this to myself? I seem to have collected a large amount of historical biographies over the years all of which could double as doorstops and they are long and somewhat arduous to read- happily, Antonia Fraser does her best to ease the pain and dullness and makes her biography of King Charles II a fairly engrossing read.

Why King Charles II? Well, I've had this long-standing desire to wrap my head around the English Civil War (or wars, in this case) as I've got a decent grasp of it's Am
Apr 02, 2010 Mandy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I was a little in love with Charles II before I read this book, and a little more after. The book covers Charles years in exile after the beheading of his father, and the early part of his reign. Charles was energetic, kind and well mannered, fond of the theatre, and women, art, gardens, small dogs and beautiful buildings. He brought Yachts to England, and played real tennis, rode and swam in the Thames. He wasn't proud, and when he got hot, prone to whipping his wig off, no matter the company. ...more
Aug 31, 2013 Clare rated it really liked it
Yay! The first factual book I have ever read cover to cover. This was extremely well written. There was a touch of humour in there (although how could there not have been when Charles II was freaking hilarious) and lots and lots of facts that I picked up without any difficulty. I very rarely found myself getting bored.
The author was as unbiased as anyone could hope to be, and where she did offer an opinion she made sure to show the other arguments as well, which was great.
Dec 07, 2010 Ruth rated it really liked it
An unbelievably well researched book that is not only informative, but enjoyable to read. This book goes into so much detail, you really feel that you are there.
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Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works, including the biographies Mary, Queen of Scots (a 40th anniversary edition was published in May 2009), Cromwell: Our Chief of Men, King Charles II and The Gunpowder Plot (CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger; St Louis Literary Award). She has written five highly praised books which focus on women in history, The Weaker Vessel: Women's ...more
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