Charles II and his Escape into Exile (Hardback)
Capture the King
Returning to England to try to reclaim his throne, King Charles II was defeated at the Battle of Worcester – but the battle to save his own life had only just begun. Pursued wherever he went by soldiers from the conflict as well as local militia, Charles donned peasant clothing, crudely cut his hair and tried to adopt a rustic accent. With the secret help of a succession of loyal citizens, he walked till his feet were shredded, waded rivers, coolly mixed with anti-royalists and enemy troopers – and, of course, hid in an oak tree. Never sure of who could be trusted, it was touch and go all the way to the coast and, hopefully, a boat that would take him to freedom.
Reviewed by Stephen Ede-BorrettThe Pike and Shot Society
I absolutely loved this book and also admire Beardsley’s style of trying not to add details for which there is no contemporary account (there are very few, as he openly admits but all are based on the balance of probability). ..
... The style is gentle and easy-going whilst still being full of fascinating detail; it is far beyond a simple rehash of previous narratives of the same events, something that Beardsley himself says that he wanted to avoid. Beardsley acknowledges the ‘on the ground’ expertise of Gillian Bagwell and of Lucy Griffiths, both of whose knowledge undoubtedly helped to make the book the gem that is.
I would thoroughly recommend this book on every level from history to a ripping good yarn. If this was a story of fiction it would be criticised as “unrealistic’ but it isn’t fiction and Beardsley brings it to life in an evocative and exciting way that will appeal even to many that aren’t primarily interested in the English Civil Wars.
Charles II is a well-known figure in history, particularly his decadent court & many royal mistresses. Yet Charles's years in exile are often forgotten. In this book, Martyn R. Beardsley tells the incredible story of Charles's forgotten years before he became king. Easy to read and peppered with interesting (and often incredible) stories, this is a book for everyone interested in the Stuarts.GoodReads, Constant Reader
As featured on the Royal Reviewer VlogRoyal Reviewer
Listed in the ‘Reading Corner’BRITAIN, April 2020
Written with all the narrative storytelling skill of a novelist, this meticulously detailed and informative history is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of two Appendices (Lord Henry Wilmot/The Penderels and Petitioners to the King), and a three page Bibliography. Certain to be an enduringly valued contribution to 17th Century English History, "Charles II and his Escape into Exile: Capture the King" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, college, and university library Historical Royal British Biographies collections.Midwest Book Review
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Article: 'King's escape is brought to book' as featured byThe Chronicle (Wolverhampton) & Bridgnorth Journal, 30th January 2020 – words by Toby Neal
Article: Story of king’s daring escape and role of ‘royal oak’ told in new book as featured byExpress & Star (online & print) and Shropshire Star (print) - words by Toby Neal
A really interesting and well researched book . There are a lot of places mentioned that I have visited previously so that made it more relatable to me too.NetGalley, Ann Jones
6th February 1685
Charles II died on 6 February 1685. He was 54 years old.