Book Review : James II: The Last Catholic King (Penguin Monarchs)

James II: The Last Catholic King (Penguin Monarchs)James II: The Last Catholic King by David Womersley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good overview of a monarch I knew very little about and someone who had a profound and unintentional influence on our constitution.

If you previously thought that the English Civil War was mostly a push towards democracy and a constitutional monarchy then this will dispel that myth and show that it was THIS monarch’s mistakes preceeding to & whilst on the throne who actually provoked those events.

The book is written in a very engaging style and provides a good overview of this monarch’s brief reign (only 3 years)

The Penguin Monarch books are generally 100 pages or less and serve as succinct guides to the British Monarchy

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About The Penguin Monarch Series …
The Penguin Monarchs Series is a series of 45 books, all of between 80-100 pages long, providing overviews of the each British Monarch.

Penguin has brought together some of the country’s best historians to write the “innovative, provocative histories of Britain’s rulers”, and each book is illustrated by original, newly commissioned portraits of each monarch.

Book Synopsis

‘Official’ Book Description

The short, action-packed reign of James II (1685-88) is generally seen as one of the most catastrophic in British history. James managed, despite having access to tremendous reserves of good will and deference, to so alienate his supporters that he had to flee for his life. And yet, most of that life was spent not as king but first as heir to Charles II, as Duke of York (after whom New York is named) and then in the last part of his life as the first Jacobite ‘Pretender’, starting a problem that would haunt Britain’s rulers for generations.