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The Prince Who Would Be King: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart
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The Prince Who Would Be King: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Henry Stuart’s life is the last great forgotten Jacobean tale. Shadowed by the gravity of the Thirty Years’ War and the huge changes taking place across Europe in seventeenth-century society, economy, politics and empire, his life was visually and verbally gorgeous.

Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales was once the hope
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by William Collins
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Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Author Sarah Fraser achieves her aim in bringing to the forefront the life and character of Prince Henry Frederick Stuart (d.1612).

Henry Stuart was literally, for some time, the "forgotten prince", overshadowed by his more well-known younger brother Charles I of England, who succeeded to the English throne due to the untimely death of Prince Henry, who was his elder brother.

Fraser uses what available research there is to give us a glimpse into the private and political life of a young prince who
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I thought it would be interesting to read about the young life of a crown prince; this is a time of life usually skated through quickly in biographies, but since this particular Prince of Wales (Henry Stuart, 1594-1612) died at age eighteen, the whole book is about his young life.

Unfortunately, the book is quite dry: perhaps proof that historical figures’ childhoods aren’t meant to be given this much attention, or perhaps just due to the author’s writing. Henry didn’t actually get to do very muc
Rue Baldry
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a very easy read. Fraser conjures the setting and characters of this period in a very complete and vivid way. I don't read many historical biographies. I just don't find factual books as readable or interesting as novels, usually, but this book proved to be an exception.

Although I studied this period of history for 'A'level, I don't remember anything about Henry, Prince of Wales. Fraser states that one of the purposes of this book is to rehabilitate his memory, and she certainly does a v
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Rather dry book about the son of James I of England who died at 18. He was the namesake of Henrico county in Virginia-- and I know some people who live there, but never knew the origin of the name. I was also surprised that Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot occurred during James' reign-- I always thought it was later! and that Charles I, who lost his head to Oliver Cromwell's bunch, was James' second son (and became king because Henry had died). Again, I always thought that was later. So lots of ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's remarkable how many great Monarchs were never meant to be such. Elizabeth I, so many wives gone through to provide a sickly young boy king, Henry VIII of course was the spare, not the heir, Queen Victoria, would never had been born if not for the death of Princes Charlotte, our current Queen, born as the daughter of a second son . . . Here we have Henry IX, as he was meant to be, brother of the ill fated spare, Charles I.
A very readable biography, with bite sized short chapters, bringing b
Sherry Sharpnack
Book #6 for me about Britain’s Stuart dynasty for 2019 was written by the same author as “The Last Highlander”. Ms. Fraser explores the life and times of Henry, Prince of Wales, eldest son of James VI and I. Born in Scotland while his Dad was still just King of Scotland, England embraces him as the true Union of the Crowns, and hoped that the future King Henry IX would hearten back to his glorious predecessors named Henry.

Since there is only so much historical info about Prince Henry, we get an
Pat MacEwen
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A tale of what might have been, this book is a biography of Henry Stuart, the elder son of James VI/James I of Scotland and England and a detailed description of St James's Palace when it housed the young prince's royal court, and what became the Royal Library. Prince Henry was an altogether different sort of man than either his father or his younger brother, Charles I, who fumbled his way to the chopping block in the course of the English Civil War. Henry, it seems, was a much more forthright, ...more
Michael Bully
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and informative read. The style has been accused of being too similar to historical fiction but have to admit that I enjoyed it, Fascinated by the Jacobean era and quite glad that this author has generated some interest in the life of the prince who would succeeded the throne had he not died in 1612 at the age of 18.
Particularly helpful to see how the Prince's household became a pro-Protestant faction, and how Henry was advocating support for the European Protestant cause as the Thirt
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio, history
Notes for self:About Henry Stuart, son of James I. He died at 18. Well researched, lays out in good detail his life. However, a recurring motif that was that if he hadn't died, maybe he would have intervened in the cult of absolute monarchy, and there wouldn't have been the English Civil War. That irked me after a bit. 4* for history, 3* for providing an importance to someone who never really did much. ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great history for anyone interested in British monarchy wish she would write about another historical royal. I would like to see more on the Georgian kings available.

George I or george ii and their families do not seem to be well addressed yet. Maybe more on daughters of kings and their lived.
Heather G
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I never knew before King Charles I was not the original heir to the throne. Who knows if there would have been a civil war had he of lived. Great book, I highly recommend it.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was entertained! It a bit of a one trick pony though. If you ever wondered how princes got groomed into kings, this will help. It does a pretty good job of detailing out the main rifts of 17th century Europe, while only really focusing on a tiny, and ultimately unimportant, bit of it.
Laura Bray
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, history
There's no way there can be an entire book about a young man who died at 18. Maybe about his advisors, mentors, etc., but not him. As much as I love British royal history, this one was too much of a deep dive. ...more
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fascinating insight into the life of a Jacobean prince. Packed with information about the Stuart transition from Scotland to England and the creation of a potentially great Protestant prince.
Tracy Gilson
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this historical book on the life of Henry Stuart. Interesting to think how things may have been different had he lived.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This was a well-written and detailed account of Prince Henry Frederick Stuart's short life. I found it very interesting, with the small exceptions of some minute details. ...more
Alicia Pearson
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Feb 25, 2018
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Jun 26, 2018
rated it it was ok
Jun 18, 2019
Ash Lucas
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Apr 24, 2020
michelle champagne
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Dec 29, 2017
Ceitidh Campbell
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Aug 20, 2020
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very interesting story about Henry Frederick and his tragic, short life. It's seldom you get to read about princes in such depth, since most writers are concerned with kings and queens, or people of greater import. While Henry never got to wear the crown and leave his mark, he certainly proved an interesting character study. If he had been king, he'd certainly have made a much better one than James I or Charles I. ...more
Paul Grillo
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Apr 02, 2019
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Christopher Burrows
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Dec 24, 2018
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May 10, 2019
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