Book Review : Royal family, Royal Lovers By David M. Bergeron

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Summary

A study of the lives of the Stuart royal family. Written in an accessible style, the narrative moves chronologically from James’s birth in 1566 to his death in 1625. It is aimed at the general reader as well as historians and describes a family divided by jealousy, neglect and the violence of war. A cousin, denied marriage to the man she loves, dies locked in a tower; a young prince, heir-expectant, dies suddenly; a princess marries a German prince and then finds herself the prisoner of European wars; a king-father, noted for his peacemaking, ensnares his country in a war as his life ends; a queen-mother, determined to nurture her young children, finds herself estranged from them.

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Review

I have read articles and varies things in books  on James I and VI but this is the first time I actually read a biography that was entirely dedicated to James.   I thought that David M.  Bergeron did an amazing  job in chronicling James life. Mr.  Bergeron is a Professor at the University of  Kansas.  He has published several works on Shakespeare, Renaissance, drama, civic pageantry, and the Stuart Royal family.

Bergeron has  told James life from three different spans, his time in Scotland,  his accession to the English crown, and finally the  last years of his life.  The book examines  James in various from father,  husband, lover, and finally King.   The author introduces the theme of “silence”  in regards to James life.  I thought he did an excellent  job in making these connections throughout the book.  In the first part of the book the author goes into James earlier years,  touches briefly on the events happening before his birth.

Tragedy struck James at an early age with the murder of his father,  and it was rumored that his mother was involve in the plot to kill him.  Then subquently the abandonment of his mother who fled Scotland and was later became of the Prisoner of her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England.  James  was under the care of four regents who wanted to control both James and the crown for their own political agenda’s.

All of these events clearly had an impact on James throughout his life.   We can see an example of this when his wife, Anne of Denmark,  gave birth to the couples first child. Anne wanted Henry with her,  but James  ignoring his wife’s wishes sent Henry to live with the family that had once taken care of him as a child.  He seemed to think that handing his child over to strangers was a normal thing to do.  He was “Silent” to Anne pain, who of course was upset that her child was being handed to others to raise.

There  are a lot more examples of silences throughout the book,  but I don’t want to ruin them for you, because I want you to read the book.  Though the book in technically has four chapters,  the chapters are very long and detailed,  which I absolutely love in book.   Plus it kept me engaged, I could put it down.  I am usually a slow reader,  but I read this book fairly quickly.  I highly recommend this book if your wanting to read something on James I .

Rated

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Research Shelf

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 Hi, this not really a book review but more a recommendation that I have for you.    I absolutely love this book! I am very much a history buff, I like all kinds of history, but my are of specialty in Tudor England. This book is a great resource for anyone who is studying the Tudor/Stuart era.  I run a couple of history pages on facebook so this is a great resource to have on hand. Plus I just like looking through it and seeing what events happen on certain date. The book follows the 12 months on the calendar and tells certain events that happened on each day. She doesn’t just write the date and event but gives a detail description of it. At the beginning of the book she names and gives dates to different Tudor Holidays that they celebrated during that period. She also names and give dates of reigns to the monarch’s ruling all the way to James VI ( Basically houses of Tudor and Stuart). I would recommend this book to anyone, especially if your new to Tudor history, I am not good at dates though I have been studying this period for a few years now, this really helps me a lot. All I can say is if your a fan of history/Tudors/Stuarts this is a must buy. You won’t regret it

Greetings

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Hello, My name is Rachel. I have another blog on here that is called Books Books & More Books  On that blog I usually do book reviews on some of the fiction books that I like to read.  I am both student and I work part time as well.  I am majoring in  History, which I love,  along with books.  The reason I created this second blog is because I wanted to do something with history.  So I decided that this blog will just be dedicated to book reviews and articles on different historical figures that I am interested in. I don’t want to focus on one particular era.   Not only will this help me learn more,  but I hope that whoever reads this blog will get something out of it as well.  I am pretty lax in my reviews, but I will give an honest review on all the books that I read.  I will also being rating each book that I read on a scale from one to five,  five being the highest and one the lowest.   I love to hear from you all,  feel free to message me and  suggest books.  I might use your suggestion on future reviews.

~ Rachel