As he tells their story, Adam Nicolson reveals how a struggle for dominance began as the English crown slowly grew in strength and power, which evoked questions of loyalty that would simmer for decades. Was government about agreement and respect or authority and compulsion? What status did traditional rights have in a changing world? Did a national emergency mean those rights could be ignored or overturned? These were the questions that, in 1642, would lead to a brutal civil war, the bloodiest conflict England has ever suffered, in which the Earl of Pembroke---a devout subject---had no choice but to rebel against a king he believed had betrayed him and his country.
©2008 Adam Nicolson; (P)2008 Tantor
"Clear and compelling popular history." (Kirkus)
"Supple and elegant.... A welcome treat." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)
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"An interesting account of the lives of the Herveys"
This book is an interesting account of the lives of the Herberts, from their rise to the Earldom of Pembroke under Henry VIII until the eve of the English Civil War. Through the Herberts' marriages the book also covers the careers of many historical characters, such as Lady Jane Gray, Sir Philip and Mary Sydney. The context is also well documented through regular references to contemporary social conditions in the English countryside as well as the machinations at court. Simon Vance's excellent reading brings the book out of the realm of the historical texbook and makes it all the more interesting.
"Rather overblown narration for non-fiction"
I would change the narrator.
His tone was far too flowery. You would think he was reciting Shakespeare.
Read rather than listen to the book. Happily I own hard copy.
I really like some of Adam Nicholson's work but this version was seriously spoilt because the narrator appeared to be in love with the sound of his own voice.
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