Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier

Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier

by Charles Spencer
     
 

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To his fellow Royalists, fighting for King Charles I, Prince Rupert of the Rhine was the archetypal cavalier. Young, handsome, an expert horseman and crack pistol shot, his swaggering style irritated the stuffier of the king's courtiers almost as much as the Roundheads they were fighting. To the parliamentarians, above all Oliver Cromwell, he was the ultimate

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Overview

To his fellow Royalists, fighting for King Charles I, Prince Rupert of the Rhine was the archetypal cavalier. Young, handsome, an expert horseman and crack pistol shot, his swaggering style irritated the stuffier of the king's courtiers almost as much as the Roundheads they were fighting. To the parliamentarians, above all Oliver Cromwell, he was the ultimate "malignant," one of those Royalists who fought on even after Charles was executed in 1649. Rupert commanded the Royalist forces in exile, who were one point reduced to little more than pirates before the triumphant restoration of the monarchy in 1660. In this thoroughly researched account, Prince Rupert is revealed as more than just a great general and dashing cavalier. He was a scientist and classical scholar, a true renaissance prince. From his dramatic childhood escape through the snows of Bohemia to his later life as a respected older statesman, this is the first comprehensive biography of the greatest cavalier of them all.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This delightful book could change the nonspecialist reader's perception of the English Civil War era as tedious while impressing those already familiar with it. Just read about Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619-82) in Spencer's biography, and you'll feel as if you are hearing a story from a witty friend, with all the gossipy bits included and with explanations that move the story ahead exactly when necessary. However, this "friend" is an excellent writer and historian (see, e.g., his Blenheim: Battle for Europe), here accessing the archival record on Charles I's nephew, who supported the Royalist cause as a dashing youth in his twenties, already a veteran of the Thirty Years War. Six feet four with long, curling locks, Prince Rupert was not only a larger-than-life model of the romantic cavalier but also a Royal without a country-his parents had lost the crown of Bohemia-later to be an admiral, a founder of Hudson's Bay Company, an artist, an inventor and scientist, a dog lover (which plays a part in his time fighting Cromwell's forces), and a statesman after the Restoration. Spencer places Rupert in full context, assessing his successes and failings, his military skill and brutality. The results are highly recommended for any college, high school, or public library.
—Sue Lay

From the Publisher

"I have read many lives of the prince . . . but I have not read one before . . . so richly and fully explored."  —The Guardian

"Pacey and perceptive . . . Written with all the zest of a Flashman novel, this biography is a delight to read."  —The Mail on Sunday

"This is a fine book that portrays Rupert as a fascinating figure who was more than the ultimate cavalier, dashing but doomed."  —Good Book Guide

“Not only a highly accomplished account of the battle and its wider consequences, but also a shrewd and persuasive reassessment of the personalities involved.”  —Sunday Telegraph

"Pacy and enjoyable . . . this is a fine, intelligent, patriotic book which deserves to be read."  —Spectator

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780753824016
Publisher:
Phoenix
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
737,458
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)

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