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The Last Royal Rebel


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About the Author

Anna Keay is a historian and broadcaster specializing in Stuart England. She studied at Oxford and received a Ph.D. from London University. Having worked as curator of Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London, and as curatorial director of English Heritage, she is now director of the Landmark Trust. Anna's television work includes a series for the History Channel and commentating on royal events. Her previous publications include The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the Ceremonies of Power, and The Crown Jewels: A History of the English Regalia.


A lively and probably definitive biography of an ill-fated Restoration notable. --Kirkus Reviews [Keay] beautifully explores the relationships Monmouth had with his father; the Duke of York (later James II); and his cousin and friend William of Orange. She convincingly describes him as a complex and sympathetic figure who was doomed by his family's fracturing due to England's religious struggles. --Publishers Weekly Engaging . . . Keay paints a picture of Restoration England and the fraught political and religious environment that led to the end of the Stuart dynasty. Fans of all periods of English history, especially those who also enjoy fiction set in the Restoration, will race through this absorbing chronicle. --Library Journal Brilliant and revelatory . . . Anna Keay has written a superb biography, which paints a vivid picture of the times and of her subject. --Starred review, Daily Telegraph This vividly told story will remain in the reader's memory long after the last page of Keay's book has been turned . . . [She] has brought a period almost lost to popular history compellingly alive. --Literary Review The strength of this admirable biography is that it makes the reader consider Monmouth from Monmouth's point of view, without the benefit of hindsight . . . Here is Monmouth, and here is his world. It is a considerable achievement. --The Times Keay is a winning guide to the man and the period; this is an account not just of James but of one of the most interesting and fruitful periods of English history . . . And she does it without jargon, making the personal as political as it in fact was. - Evening Standard Returns this glamorous rebel to life. One contemporary described him as someone who lived 'in a mad ramble after pleasure', and Keay colourfully recreates that mad ramble: womanising, dangerous sports and princely extravagance. The writing is lively and fast-paced . . . A vivid, easy read. - Mail on Sunday Keay's study of Monmouth, the first for many years, is meticulous in its attention to scholarly detail and invaluably fills a gap in the historiography. But what distinguishes her as a biographer is her unflagging appetite for the drama and poignancy of the story, and her skill and fluency in portraying it. I can't remember the last time I read a historical biography that so vividly evokes the atmosphere of another age. - Spectator Keay has created a definitive biography based on meticulous research resulting in an informed and informative work of impeccable scholarship . . . Highly recommended. - The Midwest Book Review A fascinating portrait of the slippery, charismatic Charles II, and of his genuine love for his son . . . The brilliance of Keay's account lies in her ability to convey the subtle intricacies of diplomacy and royal ambition . . . [She] tells the story with heart-breaking crispness. - Guardian

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