So, today is the first coronation of a British monarch in my life time and it most of our lifetimes. Everything startedto go a bit coronation crazy in London a few weeks ago and now we’ve got bunting hanging up in various places near my house too. I’m fascinated to see what all this pomp and ceremony looks like in 2023 and how everyone reacts to it.
On the book front, I’ve already done a few posts about the Royals here – but so far King Charles hasn’t really figured in any of them. I did try to come up with some new recommendations for today, but I’ve basically failed miserably. However, I do have some recommendations relating to the previous King Charles. And I’m talking Charles II because I haven’t really read a lot about Charles I because I know how it ends and I’m not up for executions. But if you do want something, Charles Spencer (yes Princess Diana’s brother) has written a book called The Killers of the King about the men who signed Charles I’s death warrants and what impact it had on them and their families which I’ve seen crop up on a lot of lists.
As far as Charles II-related goes, Charles Beauclerk wrote a biography of his ancestress Nell Gwynn, restoration actress and Charles II’s mistress, which I read about 15 years ago and remember as being an interesting look at the royal court and made more interesting by the personal link between the author and the principle characters. It’s in Kindle Unlimited at the moment if you want to take a look. If you want to know what life was like in Restoration Britain, Ian Mortimer has done one of his Time Traveller’s Guide books for the period which I listened to on audiobook and can recommend. On the fiction front, I wrote a BotW post about The Ashes of London, the first in Andrew Taylor’s Marwood and Lovett series which is set in the Restoration and I’ve just finished the latest one (although I haven’t read all of the ones in between) and they are good mystery stories that do a similar sort of thing in the Stuart era that the Matthew Shardlake series does in the Tudor period. There’s also Rose Tremain’s Restoration, which features a nobleman and his ups and downs at court. It was shortlisted for the Booker when it came out – I enjoyed it, but it’s definitely a book you have to concentrate on. There is a sequel – which I have on the shelf but haven’t read yet. Also waiting on the shelf for me to finally get round to is Georgette Heyer‘s Royal Escape – which is about Charles II’s escape from Britain during the civil war (before he was Charles II obviously).
And you can of course read my previous posts about the twentieth century royals about the Jubilee and also royal romances Battle Royal (slightly more tangentially) and the Royal Spyness mysteries.
Happy Saturday everyone.