Reviews

  • "A revelation... White King is that rare thing, a page-turning history that gently but insistently also asks provocative questions about a period on which our opinions have been all too fixed. Charles does not emerge with his reputation restored, but he emerges whole"

    Financial Times
  • "Fascinating"

    Evening Standard
  • "Humane and scholarly... De Lisle's deeply and originally researched book brings Charles alive not in kingly isolation but as a father and a husband. Both biography and subject deserve our fullest attention"

    Mail on Sunday
  • "Engaging, well-researched and beautifully written... Emphatically not another book about the civil wars, this instead offers a nuanced and detailed examination of one of our most complex monarchs. It is probably the definitive modern work about Charles I"

    Observer
  • "De Lisle, who has long been an original voice in popular Tudor studies, is generous to Charles, but too sharp a reader of evidence to ignore his flaws... Pellucid, compelling and enriched by fresh evidence... Sympathetic but scrupulous to the last"

    Sunday Telegraph
  • "An impeccably researched and thought-provoking biography which reads as well as a fine novel... It also revives one of this country's greatest stories: a blinkered king, a warrior queen, a war that turned brother against brother and scandals caused by money, sex, espionage and power, woven together in the life of this extraordinary but flawed king"

    Daily Express
  • "Formidable... with remarkable clarity she unpicks the tangle of religious, political and economic conflicts that led to the Civil War... De Lisle draws on little-known and in some cases previously unrecorded letters to explore the important part that women played in Charles’s story... This is not a story of a weakling or a villain: it’s the tragedy of the right man in the wrong place in history"

    The Times
  • "De Lisle effortlessly carries the reader along with her as she recreates the tragedy of Charles I and the Civil War. Her book is beautifully constructed, telling the story chronologically with a nice eye for detail, illuminating each period and major character by vivid tableau, but with plenty of analysis... This is the most gripping piece of revisionist history I have read for a long time"

    Spectator
  • "Elegantly written... the book proceeds at a cracking pace as the king's tragedy unfolds... Leanda de Lisle's splendid book is a timely reminder of the fascination of this turbulent period"

    History Today
  • "Excellent -- clear, fair, sympathetic and detailed"

    Wall Street Journal

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