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White King


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The first accessible biography in 50 years of one of the most dramatic and bloody reigns in history

About the Author

Leanda de Lisle is the highly acclaimed author of three books on the Tudors and Stuarts, including the bestselling The Sisters Who Would Be Queen and Tudor- The Family Story. A former weekly columnist on the Spectator, Guardian and Daily Express, she contributes to numerous national publications. She lives in Leicestershire.


"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" -- Mathew Lyons * Financial Times *
"Fascinating" -- Andrew Marr * 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" -- Dan Jones * 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" -- Alexander Larman * 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" -- Jessie Childs * 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" -- Gareth Russell * 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" -- Andrew Taylor * 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" -- Desmond Seward * 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" -- Linda Porter * History Today *
"Excellent -- clear, fair, sympathetic and detailed" -- Alan Massie * Wall Street Journal *
"A riveting study that casts [Charles] as a blinkered idealist, and draws on previously unpublished royal letters that restore the humanity of his despised queen, Henrietta Maria" * Daily Telegraph *
"Leanda de Lisle's very readable new biography of the king reveals the twisting path through love, politics and war that led him to his ultimate desintation" -- Nick Rennison * Daily Mail *
"A grand tragedy related with searing pathos" * Good Housekeeping *
"Britain's Stuart monarchs have long been overlooked in favour of their more flashy Tudor counterparts, but in White King Leanda de Lisle offers a case for Charles I being one of history's most compelling rulers... [a] revelatory account of Charles's unstable and ultimately tragic reign" * Radio Times *
"Uses newly revealed letters and manuscripts to inform a new portrait of Charles I" * Choice Magazine *

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