King James I: A Life from Beginning to End

House of Stuart, Book 1
Narrated by: Mike Nelson
Length: 1 hr and 14 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

James I of England and VI of Scotland was the first king to rule both countries. He was faced with division between his realms and caught between the religious wars of the Reformation. Spending most of his reign at odds with the religious and parliamentary powers around him, James did little to unite his people. Unable to take a firm stand on critical issues, he spent his life avoiding them.

Inside, you will listen about....

  • James’ Bride and the Witch Hunt
  • The Mystery of the Gowrie Plot
  • Taking over Elizabethan England
  • King James Bible
  • The Gunpowder Plot
  • The King’s Favorite Men
  • And Much More!

Still, James was not a bad king. He is best remembered for the translation of the Bible into English, making it accessible to all. During the start of the bloody Thirty Years’ War that would engulf Europe, James did his best to keep England out of the turmoil. His descendants, however, brought about a bloody civil war that was to last for several generations. James I and VI continues to have a reputation as a lazy king who gave too much power to his male favorites.

©2019 Hourly History (P)2019 Hourly History

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Riddled with errors

“King James I, a life from beginning to end” is so riddled with errors that were it an appliance it would have to be recalled. In the discussion of the life of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, she is described as having grown up in the palace of Versailles. Versailles was not built until the 17th century. Mary Queen of Scots grew up in the Louvre. Bothwell is listed as one of the conspirators that murdered Rizzio. No other source, not Clarie Ridgway, nor Andrew Lange, nor A. Taylor Innes make any mention of Bothwell in their account of the murder. Jacob Abbott describes Bothwell as being present that night in Holyroodhouse, but had to jump out the window to escape the murderous gang. This biography of James VI/I alleges that he was jealous of the popularity of eldest son. This is the first I have heard of this and I am very doubtful. One of the greatest disappointments is the description of the creation of the Authorized Bible, what we call the King James Bible, his greatest achievement. There is no mention of King James meeting with the Puritans carrying the Millenary Petition asking, amongst other things, for a new translation of the Bible. In a famous meeting at Hampton Court King James appointed a committee, consisting of ½ Church of England traditionalists, and ½ Puritans to oversee a new translation, requiring only that it have the “word of God” only and no commentary. This kept the two wings of the Church of England busy for years and out of King James' hair. There is zero mention of the creation of Ulster Plantation, the tragic legacy of which is still with us. Nor is there any mention of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America. In the discussion of King James' VI/I legacy I it talks about the civil war as being between Catholics and Protestants where as it was famously between Royalists and Parliamentarians. It was about what sort of Protestant Church the Church of England would be and about the power to tax. It winds up saying that James' descendant, King James VII/II was over thrown by William III of the House of Hanover. Of course William III was of the House of Orange, which explains why he is known to history as William of Orange. The first Hanoverian does not appear until 1715. Somebody truly just phoned it in on this one. Audible really needs to record one of the actual biographies of James VI/I for those of us who have an actual interest in history.

2 people found this helpful

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What a wimp!

He was gay and afraid to rule so he destroyed their economy what a wasted!

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Short, not a lot of detail

Worth a listen, but didn't go into as much detail as I would have liked. It's more like an extended outline than a book.

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Terrible

I couldn’t wait for the book to end. It sounded like a high school paper that was written for history class but worse.

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Decent book, gave a little more info on James 1 than what’s commonly known

I knew James I created the King James Bible and was technically the first king of England and Scotland. This filled in some more details. I recently read the full bio of Mary Queen of Scots, so getting a snippet of her son’s life was interesting. Solid narration, easy to understand and follow - for personal preference I turned up the speed to 1.25x.