Charles I  book cover
1st Edition

Charles I

ISBN 9781138712225
Published September 30, 2019 by Routledge
284 Pages

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Book Description

Charles I provides a detailed overview of Charles Stuart, placing his reign firmly within the wider context of this turbulent period and examining the nature of one of the most complex monarchs in British history.

The book is organised chronologically, beginning in 1600 and covering Charles’ early life, his first difficulties with his parliaments, the Personal Rule, the outbreak of Civil War, and his trial and eventual execution in 1649. Interwoven with historiography, the book emphasises the impact of Charles’ challenging inheritance on his early years as king and explores the transition from his original championing of international Protestantism to his later vision of a strong and centralised monarchy influenced by continental models, which eventually provoked rebellion and civil war across his three kingdoms. This study brings to light the mass of contradictions within Charles’ nature and his unusual approach to monarchy, resulting in his unrivaled status as the only English king to have been tried and executed by his own subjects.

Offering a fresh approach to this significant reign and the fascinating character that held it, Charles I is the perfect book for students of early modern Britain and the English Civil War.

Table of Contents


Stuart family tree


1 Early life and Prince of Wales (1600–25)

2 Patriot king (1625–29)

3 Imperial monarch (1629–40)

4 Royalist-in-chief (1640–42)

5 Warlord (1642–46)

6 Conscientious objector (1646–49)

Epilogue: the legacy of a royal martyr

Guide to further reading


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Mark Parry read History at Cambridge and completed a doctorate on the political role of the episcopate under the early Stuarts. He teaches History at Westminster School. He is the author of several academic articles on the political and religious history of the early Stuart period and of an A-level textbook Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603–1702 (2015).


'Parry helpfully engages with historiography throughout the book, and importantly justifies his own standpoint. [...] In sum, this is a fine book, accessible and engaging, with a clear set of conclusions. It deserves to be widely read.'

Kenneth Fincham, Sixteenth Century Journal, UK


'[...] Parry’s work offers a successful and concise overview of the life of Charles I. Parry’s clear historiographical discussions, signposting, and his emphasis on the contradictions in Charles’s character offer a readable and thorough background for any reader.'

Amy Saunders, Royal Studies Journal, UK