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Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution

The History of England

Peter Ackroyd

Thomas Dunne Books

Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of the greatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of The History of England, beginning the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ending with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II.

The Stuart monarchy brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king. Shrewd and opinionated, James I was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft, and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country during the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant, warts-and-all portrayal of Charles’s nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, Parliament’s great military leader and England’s only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as "that man of blood," the king he executed.

England’s turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare’s late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton and Thomas Hobbes’s great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Rebellion also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty. Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of the greatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of The History of England, beginning the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ending with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II.

The Stuart monarchy brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king. Shrewd and opinionated, James I was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft, and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country during the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant, warts-and-all portrayal of Charles’s nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, Parliament’s great military leader and England’s only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as "that man of blood," the king he executed.

England’s turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare’s late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton and Thomas Hobbes’s great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Rebellion also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.

REVIEWS

Praise for Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution

Praise for Tudors

"Peter Ackroyd is energetic and gifted enough to have mastered his sources and produced a sparklingly fresh account of Tudor England. . . . Ackroyd has a wonderful eye for the telling detail, cameos that stick in the mind." —The Weekly Standard

"Peter Ackroyd’s love of his subject shines through every page. This is a thrilling story that will delight readers interested in this period." —San Francisco Book Review

"Ackroyd writes with such lightly worn erudition and a deceptive ease that he never fails to engage." —The Telegraph (UK)

"Superbly accessible and readable." —Financial Times (UK)

Praise for Foundation

"Relaxed, unpretentious, and accessible." —The New York Times Book Review

"Ackroyd’s trademark insight and wit, and the glorious interconnectedness of all things, permeate each page." —Observer (UK)

"Ackroyd brings delightful but revealing details of the lives of the people from the past into the present." —Sunday Express (UK)

"An extraordinary book . . . Peter Ackroyd is arguably the most talented and prolific writer working in Britain today." —Daily Express (UK)
Praise for Tudors

"Peter Ackroyd is energetic and gifted enough to have mastered his sources and produced a sparklingly fresh account of Tudor England. . . . Ackroyd has a wonderful eye for the telling detail, cameos that stick in the mind." —The Weekly Standard

"Peter Ackroyd’s love of his subject shines through every page. This is a thrilling story that will delight readers interested in this period." —San Francisco Book Review

"Ackroyd writes with such lightly worn erudition and a deceptive ease that he never fails to engage." —The Telegraph (UK)

"Superbly accessible and readable." —Financial Times (UK)

Praise for Foundation

"Relaxed, unpretentious, and accessible." —The New York Times Book Review

"Ackroyd’s trademark insight and wit, and the glorious interconnectedness of all things, permeate each page." —Observer (UK)

"Ackroyd brings delightful but revealing details of the lives of the people from the past into the present." —Sunday Express (UK)

"An extraordinary book . . . Peter Ackroyd is arguably the most talented and prolific writer working in Britain today." —Daily Express (UK)

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Peter Ackroyd

  • PETER ACKROYD is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet, and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed Thames: Sacred River, London: The Biography, and the first and second volumes of his history of England, Foundation and Tudors. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.

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    Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution

    The History of England

    Peter Ackroyd

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Thomas Dunne Books

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