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Charles II and his Escape into Exile (Hardback)

Capture the King

British History P&S History Social History Tudors & Stuarts 17th Century

By Martyn R Beardsley
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 164
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526725721
Published: 6th December 2019



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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.

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 Vlog

Royal 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.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

Article: 'King's escape is brought to book' as featured by

The 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 by

Express & 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

About Martyn R Beardsley

Martyn Beardsley writes for both children and adults, but history is his big passion. He is from Nottingham but visits the coast as often as possible, and has witnessed the Fowey lifeboat go into action on several occasions – on one of which he helped coax a troubled woman from the chilly waters of Polruan harbour. His other non-fiction works include Charles II and his Escape into Exile, and Waterloo Voices, a compilation of first-hand accounts of the famous battle.

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