Author Topic: Stuarts as authors  (Read 1714 times)

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palatine

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Stuarts as authors
« on: February 25, 2006, 01:25:16 PM »
The Stuarts had an interest in writing that was unusual for royal families of that era.  Some of them just wanted to get their ideas and theories out into the world, while others wanted to set the record straight and give their own version of events.

James I and VI collaborated on the King James Bible, and wrote various tracts as well as the Basilikon Doron, a manual on kingship.

Charles I is sometimes credited with writing Eikon Basilicon, a book defending his conduct during his reign and the Civil War that was published soon after his death.  The book is similar to his own writing style, and seems to be based on his speeches and statements.

Henrietta Maria spent a great deal of time talking about her past to Madame de Motteville, well aware that she was writing a book of memoirs that would include her reminisces.

After the Restoration, Charles II sanctioned a book about his adventures when he was on the run from the Roundheads, but later withdrew his sanction because he said the author had made too many mistakes.  He never got around to writing an official version himself, but he considered doing so.

Minette collaborated with a friend, Madame de la Fayette, on her memoirs.  Minette died before they were finished, leaving her friend to complete them.

James II wrote his memoirs for the years 1652-8 while in exile.  He also wrote fragmentary memoirs of the rest of his life which were later patched together by one of his followers with the help of James's notes.

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Stuarts as authors
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 03:22:15 AM »
James I (VI) wrote a lot of books. One about witchhunting (how to spot a witch!). He also wrote a more sensible book about the evils of tobacco smoking.

Next month his principles will be put into practice when smoking will be banned in bars and restaurants in Scotland!

So he was ahead of his time in this respect. I expect contemporaries thought that the witchcraft book was the serious work and found the tobacco book highly eccentric!

His namesake James I of Scotland (r. 1406-1437) wrote a long poem about the beautiful daughter of the Duke of Somerset (whom he later married) called "The King's Quhair", that is, the King's Book. He also wrote a comic poem about peasant life called "Christ's Kirk on the Green", in which he ridiculed the Scots for their lack of skill in archery.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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