Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier

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9780297846109: Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier
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To his fellow Royalists, fighting for King Charles I, Prince Rupert of the Rhine was the archetypal cavalier. Young, handsome, an expert horseman and crack pistol shot, his swaggering style irritated the stuffier of the king's courtiers almost as much as the Roundheads they were fighting. To the parliamentarians, above all Oliver Cromwell, he was the ultimate "malignant," one of those Royalists who fought on even after Charles was executed in 1649. Rupert commanded the Royalist forces in exile, who were one point reduced to little more than pirates before the triumphant restoration of the monarchy in 1660. In this thoroughly researched account, Prince Rupert is revealed as more than just a great general and dashing cavalier. He was a scientist and classical scholar, a true renaissance prince. From his dramatic childhood escape through the snows of Bohemia to his later life as a respected older statesman, this is the first comprehensive biography of the greatest cavalier of them all.

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About the Author:

Charles Spencer was educated at Eton College and obtained his degree in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford. While in the middle of a seven year stint as a correspondent for NBC News in the United States, Charles Spencer inherited the ancestral home of Althorp, Northampton, which he has since restored and refurbished. He achieved worldwide attention after speaking passionately at the funeral of his sister Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. He lives at Althorp and in West London.

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One of the most compelling historical characters to emerge from the English Civil War was Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who captured the imagination of his contemporaries as well as subsequent historians and laymen who have studied seventeenth-century Britain. Now Spencer turns in an interesting biography of this interesting man. Rupert was born in Prague, but he had strong ties to British royalty. He was the grandson of King James I and the great-grandson of Mary I, Queen of Scots. From an early age, Rupert showed both skill and enthusiasm for the military arts. At 19, he fought in the Thirty Years’ War for the Protestant forces. At 23, he was appointed by King Charles I to lead the royalist cavalry. His bold, occasionally reckless charges earned him the admiration of royalists and fear and hatred from parliamentarians. Yet, as Spencer illustrates, Rupert was not a one-dimensional man. He was also an inventor and a lover of classical literature. --Jay Freeman

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