Who was king or queen in 1666
Royal Charles: Charles II and the Restoration by Antonia FraserRoyal Charles is a fabulous book by one of the great historians of our time. As always Fraser judges the players severely but never applies the standards of a different era.
Charles II emerges as a very admirable King in Frasers book. He understand what his role was and what limitations were imposed to him. He acted courageously during the Great Fire of London. He loved his wife, his many mistresses and his numerous bastards. He promoted architecture, science, horse-racing and the building of parks. He preferred deceit to confrontation and was for religious toleration. His political judgement was superb. Frasers conclusion is that Charles II was a veru good monarch who always reacted in the right way to events but one who lacked the Nietzschean will to transform his nation.
Frasers book reads so well that one can forget about little of the context is explained. Fraser is clearly writing for a readership that knows English history very well. She refers to covenanters, Whigs and Puritans without explaining who they were or what their political agendas were. Fraser is so good as a narrator and describes people so well that most readers will never notice how little of the political manoeuvring they understand. Ultimately Frasers choice to write about the man and those in his entourage rather more than the times that they lived is quite legitimate. However, it should be understood that the Royal Charles is not an introductory work to the history of the era.
Charles II of England
It soon spread to Thames Street, where warehouses filled with combustibles and a strong easterly wind transformed the blaze into an inferno. When the Great Fire finally was extinguished on September 6, more than four-fifths of London was destroyed. Miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died. The Great Fire of London was a disaster waiting to happen. London of was a city of medieval houses made mostly of oak timber. Some of the poorer houses had walls covered with tar, which kept out the rain but made the structures more vulnerable to fire.
The years of his reign are known in English history as the Restoration period. His political adaptability and his knowledge of men enabled him to steer his country through the convolutions of the struggle between Anglicans, Catholics, and Dissenters that marked much of his reign. His early years were unremarkable, but before he was 20 his conventional education had been completely overshadowed by the harsh lessons of defeat in the Civil War against the Puritans and subsequent isolation and poverty. Thus Charles emerged into precocious maturity, cynical , self-indulgent, skilled in the sort of moral evasions that make life comfortable even in adversity. But though the early years of tawdry dissipation have tarnished the romance of his adventures, not all his actions were discreditable. But the sacrifice of friends and principles was futile and left him deeply embittered. The young king became a fugitive, hunted through England for 40 days but protected by a handful of his loyal subjects until he escaped to France in October