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Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Biography

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Interesting biography of Charles Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, pretender to the British Throne.


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Interesting biography of Charles Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, pretender to the British Throne.

30 review for Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Canfield

    Bonnie Prince Charlie, by Carolly Erickson, is an engaging, highly readable account of the life of Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender. It chronicles his quest to regain the British throne for the Stuart line. The book delivers an overview of events which transpired following the overthrow of James 11 in 1688, gives an account of Charles’s youth, then launches into the campaign of 1745 (the Forty-Fives), a campaign which very nearly succeeded despite the long odds and inherent disadvantages Char Bonnie Prince Charlie, by Carolly Erickson, is an engaging, highly readable account of the life of Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender. It chronicles his quest to regain the British throne for the Stuart line. The book delivers an overview of events which transpired following the overthrow of James 11 in 1688, gives an account of Charles’s youth, then launches into the campaign of 1745 (the Forty-Fives), a campaign which very nearly succeeded despite the long odds and inherent disadvantages Charles confronted. The devastating defeat at Culloden, virtually eradicating Charles’s army, is followed by flight and concealment. The triumphant Hanoverian army pursues the Young Pretender and launches a vicious campaign of reprisals, revenge and retribution against the Highland clans that supported the Rebellion. As the repression gathers momentum it becomes more general, sparing no one in its path, neither man, woman nor child. It exacts a fearsome, totally disproportionate cost. The narrowness between success and failure, between victory and defeat, is brought home in vivid fashion. Ultimately, Charles’s Continental allies served him poorly. Had the French intervened on the Prince’s side more forcefully, and in a more timely fashion, had they show a fraction of the resolution and determination manifested by Charles and the troops serving under him, they might well have won the day. The notion of the Stuarts being restored to power, owing their crown to the French, opens up an interesting line of historical inquiry. In the event, the Seven Years War might never have been fought, or, at the least, have been fought under different circumstances, with a different outcome. Canada, denied to the British and so remaining a French outpost, is one intriguing possibility. A fine, entertaining and balanced account by an author with a gift for historical narrative. Heartily recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    I'm glad I read this but found it as boring as it was informative. I mean, poor Chuck drew the short stick before he was even born when his Catholic granddad was kicked off the throne. Chuck's dad's Protestant half sister, Mary (as in the super duo William & Mary), took over the throne and everything spiraled out of control for the Stuarts at that point. Chuck's dad, Jimmy 3 and 8 aka The Old Pretender, decided the Stuarts were the rightful throne heirs and spent his entire life fighting to get I'm glad I read this but found it as boring as it was informative. I mean, poor Chuck drew the short stick before he was even born when his Catholic granddad was kicked off the throne. Chuck's dad's Protestant half sister, Mary (as in the super duo William & Mary), took over the throne and everything spiraled out of control for the Stuarts at that point. Chuck's dad, Jimmy 3 and 8 aka The Old Pretender, decided the Stuarts were the rightful throne heirs and spent his entire life fighting to get it back. He also spent Chuck's entire life brainwashing Chuck that he must continue a life long fight for the crown. Chuck was horrifically defeated at the Battle of Culloden, decided too late he needed a male heir (he only sired one illegitimate daughter), then determined it wasn't worth the fight anymore and threw in the towel. Sorry Chuck, better luck next time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gregory M. Knapp

    Carolly Erickson, clearly researched her subjects extremely well for this book. She portrays a story that is quite different from one that I have heard frequently while traveling through Scotland. That's not good or bad, just different, which encourages the reader to dig deeper into what is fact and what is fiction and heroism. In reading this book, which involves Italy, France, Eastern Europe and England/Scotland as well, I did learn a great deal about the political structure and struggles in t Carolly Erickson, clearly researched her subjects extremely well for this book. She portrays a story that is quite different from one that I have heard frequently while traveling through Scotland. That's not good or bad, just different, which encourages the reader to dig deeper into what is fact and what is fiction and heroism. In reading this book, which involves Italy, France, Eastern Europe and England/Scotland as well, I did learn a great deal about the political structure and struggles in the 1700's. I found this valuable insight as an fan of history of the founding of the United States.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    Everything I know about the 45 Jacobite rebellion I know mostly from the Outlander series. It was interesting to hear another take, and a non-fiction one at that. This also illustrated the plight of Stuarts with an overview of James' Rising in 1715 and follow Charles almost to the end of his life. Not the most compelling biography ever, but a decent read. Everything I know about the 45 Jacobite rebellion I know mostly from the Outlander series. It was interesting to hear another take, and a non-fiction one at that. This also illustrated the plight of Stuarts with an overview of James' Rising in 1715 and follow Charles almost to the end of his life. Not the most compelling biography ever, but a decent read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Found this biography fascinating. Did skip over some of the battles. Would make a great movie, but would not like the goriness of war scenes. Think emphasis should be on the psychology, i.e, the personality traits of these Stuarts.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    well narrated

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Enjoyed this. Very interesting

  8. 4 out of 5

    JPLuckyMe

    Interesting and informative. Felt like an honest look at an complex historic character.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

    Well, I certainly learned much about this time periods royals, how much is true, who knows but it held my interest, an easy read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Chaikin

    I'm open to about anything on audio and was curious about Bonnie Prince Charlie. His a name has come up here and there, but always as if he is someone I should already know, and therefore without any explanation of who he actually was. So, this was a chance to learn where he fit in English history. It's hard to think any nice thoughts about him after reading over the years and years of his useless later life where we was drunkard who beat his mistresses and wife and who never came to terms with h I'm open to about anything on audio and was curious about Bonnie Prince Charlie. His a name has come up here and there, but always as if he is someone I should already know, and therefore without any explanation of who he actually was. So, this was a chance to learn where he fit in English history. It's hard to think any nice thoughts about him after reading over the years and years of his useless later life where we was drunkard who beat his mistresses and wife and who never came to terms with his lot in life and really had no redeeming features. But actually the younger Charles is fascinating. Grandson of the deposed Catholic James II of England, he was raised to see himself as the rightful heir of the English and Scottish crowns. He believed this completely, and believed with full conviction that he would take the crown from the current rulers of England, the Hanovers (Kings George I, II & III during Charles's lifetime). In 1745 Charles landed in Scotland practically by himself, without adequate supplies, most of which were lost in route. And he raised a Scottish army, convincing his followers merely by force of character. Charles was bold, full of confidence, eager, athletic - he was almost suicidally fearless. He led an uprising that took Edinburgh, won a huge and unlikely victory over an English army, and then invaded England en route to London. He marched past Manchester, as far Darby. A planned French invasion would join him. This was during the war of Austrian Succession, and the Hanover army was largely on the continent, pursuing Hanover interests. England was exposed. But, despite momentum, Charles's generals forced Charles to call a retreat. The momentum was lost, the French invasion plans nullified, and the remnants of his army were eventually thoroughly crushed in the battle of Culloden. Charles escaped and slowly found his way out of Scotland and to France (while England burned the rebellious Scottish highlands to the ground). Charles Stuart was successful momentarily through fearless foolishness and became a popular heroic and tragic figure throughout Europe. But he couldn't give in to reality, and his life and person became pretty dreadful. Obscure stuff, but interesting nonetheless. Carolly Erickson, who later wrote several novels, wrote an entertaining and well-written history, bringing in a sense of the atmospheres of mid-18th century Rome, Paris, London and, of course, of Charles's highlander army.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate Lawrence

    I'd been curious about the Bonnie Prince and the Jacobite Rebellion for many years, and finally sat down to get the details. What a story! So close to victory against such incredible odds, and then bitter defeat followed by extreme British cruelty toward the entire Highland population. (This is history, so revealing how it comes out is not a spoiler.) After weeks as a fugitive, he finally managed to get to the Scottish coast and escape to France despite a price on his head of 30,000 pounds sterl I'd been curious about the Bonnie Prince and the Jacobite Rebellion for many years, and finally sat down to get the details. What a story! So close to victory against such incredible odds, and then bitter defeat followed by extreme British cruelty toward the entire Highland population. (This is history, so revealing how it comes out is not a spoiler.) After weeks as a fugitive, he finally managed to get to the Scottish coast and escape to France despite a price on his head of 30,000 pounds sterling. Finding out what the remainder of the prince's life was like was interesting as well. I've read this author before, and recommend her; she tells just enough to inform without overburdening the reader, and her pacing is just right.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard Thompson

    This is just a straight ahead biography of the famous Jacobite pretender to the British throne. I learned a bit of history, and it was a good read, but not particularly outstanding in style or historical insight. I am supposedly descended from Charlemagne (along with a few million other people), and my sisters and I used to joke about being pretenders to the throne of France. I now see how lucky we were that our claim was so weak. Having a more legitimate claim in the case of Prince Charles led This is just a straight ahead biography of the famous Jacobite pretender to the British throne. I learned a bit of history, and it was a good read, but not particularly outstanding in style or historical insight. I am supposedly descended from Charlemagne (along with a few million other people), and my sisters and I used to joke about being pretenders to the throne of France. I now see how lucky we were that our claim was so weak. Having a more legitimate claim in the case of Prince Charles led only to heartbreak and tragedy after a brief episode of hope and glory.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Although this took a little more work to read than 'Her Little Majesty', by the same author, in the end it was a book that I enjoyed and felt I learned a lot about something I never knew before. As it is about some in the 1700s there is not so much personal information, it is more about Chrales lifestyle. I find I enjoy books more when you really get to know the characters, which I felt didn't really happen in this but as I said I learnt a lot. Although this took a little more work to read than 'Her Little Majesty', by the same author, in the end it was a book that I enjoyed and felt I learned a lot about something I never knew before. As it is about some in the 1700s there is not so much personal information, it is more about Chrales lifestyle. I find I enjoy books more when you really get to know the characters, which I felt didn't really happen in this but as I said I learnt a lot.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alec Gray

    The fifty plus year quest of the Stuart heirs to reclaim the British throne is a fascinating story. The final chapter was the Bonnie Prince's doomed return to Scotland, and invasion of England, in 1745, which ended with the disastrous defeat at Culloden. An excellent account of these decades, and the hubris and folly of these dispossessed royals. The fifty plus year quest of the Stuart heirs to reclaim the British throne is a fascinating story. The final chapter was the Bonnie Prince's doomed return to Scotland, and invasion of England, in 1745, which ended with the disastrous defeat at Culloden. An excellent account of these decades, and the hubris and folly of these dispossessed royals.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I found this biography engaging and enlightening. It is interesting what a life of leisure without responsibility does to some people. Charles had one goal in life- to reclaim the throne of England, and he was never able to reach it. I wonder how the world would be different if he had.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Norman Howe

    Fantasy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    It was hard to get excited about the invasion of 45 as we all know how it ended. However, it was interesting, if a little depressing, to read about his life after the failed rebellion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Romy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Benn Jamieson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  21. 5 out of 5

    GREGORY

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becca

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

  24. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Alt

  25. 4 out of 5

    Renee

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Veirs

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alesha Hubbell

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark Gorman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  30. 4 out of 5

    Viola Walton

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