Monday, April 8, 2019

Review: The Tragic Daughters of Charles I

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I: Mary, Elizabeth & Henrietta Anne

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I
Sarah-Beth Watkins

The Tragic Daughters of Charles I, traces the lives of Mary, Elizabeth and Henrietta Anne from their births to their deaths. As I read the first part of this book, the thing that struck me most was the sad circumstances the children often found themselves in after their father was executed. Even the male heirs weren't spared with the passing of their father.

The youngest children Elizabeth and Henry seemed to have been the most unfortunate, as they were handed around to benefactors of the state, often their father's enemies. It seemed clear the new regime didn't quite know what to do with the pair. Mary and her brothers James and Charles, while not immune to the change in regime, were old enough to conduct their own lives outside of England. Mary was able to create an existence for herself as the wife of William of Orange in Holland, and offer assistance to her brothers James and Charles as they attempted to claim back the throne and their place in English history.

Henrietta Anne seemed to me the most interesting of Charles' daughters. She was whisked off to France to join her mother at the start of the English civil war where she was brought up as a Catholic among her royal cousins. By all accounts, she seems to have led a charmed life, especially after Charles II reclaimed the throne. Her marriage to the Duke of Orleans, brother of King Louis XIV, was greeted as a good match, but it was a difficult one. Nevertheless, she devoted herself to promoting peace and understanding between her two countries and the King of France and her brother Charles II.

This is a fascinating account of a family's history, especially the role of women within, who are so often forgotten by history. Not only is this account, well written, but it's also engaging and enjoyable. It is definitely one to read if you are interested in English history.

Thanks to Chronos Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment