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One morning in May 1671, Colonel Thomas Blood daringly attempted to seize the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Astonishingly, he managed to escape with St Edward's Crown and the Coronation Regalia before being apprehended. Fervently and religiously nonconformist, Blood had been involved in many plots to assassinate King Charles II and overthrow the Stuart government. He had also participated in an attempted coup d'etat in Ireland and was publicly labelled the 'Father of all Treasons'. And yet he was not instantly executed for treason. Instead, the king granted him a generous income from lands in Ireland and he became a familiar strutting figure in the glittering state apartments of the royal court.Bestselling historian Robert Hutchinson tells the gripping tale of one of the most enigmatic and alluring figures in the history of Britain. Blood was a hunted man across the kingdom, and Hutchinson explores the dangerous life of a double agent during the Restoration. While serving as the king's personal spy, Blood was supporting those who conspired to murder him. In an age when gossip and intrigue ruled the coffee houses, he also hired himself out as a freelance agent for those wishing to further their ambitions in the cockpit of late seventeenth-century politics.The Audacious Crimes of Colonel Blood is the compelling story of a man bent on ambiguous political and personal motivation, as well as an extraordinary account of the court of Charles II and the perils and conspiracies that constantly surrounded the 'Merry Monarch'.
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About the Author

Robert Hutchinson is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the author of THE LAST DAYS OF HENRY VIII, ELIZABETH'S SPYMASTER, THOMAS CROMWELL, HOUSE OF TREASON, YOUNG HENRY and THE SPANISH ARMADA. He was Defence Correspondent for the Press Association before moving to Jane's Information Group to launch JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY. He has a doctorate from the University of Sussex, and was appointed OBE in the 2008 Honours List.

Reviews

An extraordinary, stranger than fiction story * CHOICE * [Hutchinson] writes with great gusto ... These were violent times as this riveting book reveals. * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * Hutchinson paints a compelling portrait of a country hectic with sedition ... Rambunctious ... richly researched. * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * [A] nailbiting chronicle of a thoroughly unrespectable life ... Robert Hutchinson, thoroughly at home in the smoke-and-mirrors world of Tudor and Stuart espionage, commends this doughty old desperado to us for his panache, effrontery and audacity. The Audacious Crimes of Colonel Blood is television mini-series material ... the clash of blades, the whizzing bullets and galloping hooves guarantee nonstop adventure. -- Jonathan Keates * LITERARY REVIEW * A rigorously researched account ... Hutchinson's biography draws extensively on surviving primary sources, including eye-witness accounts of Blood's many scrapes and court cases ... a colourful tale of life in the shadow of the gallows. -- Matthew Dennison * SPECTATOR * A marvellous romp. * THE TIMES * [A] rattling but carefully researched piece of popular history ... Hutchinson sifts the various theories with characteristic thoroughness and lightness of touch[.] -- James Walton * Daily Mail * Robert Hutchinson's latest book is proof that truth really is stranger than fiction. The story of Colonel Blood not only introduces us to one of the most audacious men in history, but uncovers a much darker tale of spies, conspiracy and murder. A must-read for lovers of history, biography or simply a good yarn. -- TRACY BORMAN

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