"The following pages are concerned with James Stuart, and not the history of England except as it affected James Stuart," writes Williams in his preface. All relevant historical details are woven into this narrative account, however, like his novels, Williams pushes further into the very personality of James. Early chapters cover the alliances, plots, and threats of his Scotland years; latter chapters cover his reign in England, which commenced in 1603. Situated between the executions of his mother (Mary) and his son (Charles I), "the curious figure of James stands at the change of the centuries. The splendour of the Renascence homo is becoming the clarity of the seventeenth-century gentleman." "Shakespeare and Bacon were to be his servants; Harvey his physician, Donne his chaplain. He was to be the patron of the great English book that declared the coming of the Prince of Peace, and to see himself as a prince of peace, bringing rest to the afflicted churches and nations. But war in Europe and war in England were to open over his grave; the gossips were to spice their scandalous talk with his name; and afterwards everybody was always to laugh or shudder at him for ever."
Endorsements & Reviews-
"Williams never forgot that every age is modern to itself, and that this fact, or illusion, links it with our own. Thus to all men in all ages he has the same direct approach; the same readiness to accept their behaviour as human (and not 'strange' or 'quaint'); the same charity, to which irony gives a certain wholesome and astringent edge. This freedom of judgment is not to be obtained except from the viewpoint of a theology which postulates an absolute truth, and which sees in the material facts of history the symbol and expression of that truth." --Dorothy L. Sayers, from the Introduction
Charles Williams Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy L. Grenz
Author and scholar Charles Williams (1886-1945) joined, in 1908, the staff of the Oxford University Press, the publishing house in which he worked for the rest of his life. Throughout these years, poetry, novels, plays, biographies, history, literary criticism, and theology poured from his pen. At the beginning of the Second World War the publishing house was evacuated to Oxford where, in addition to his own writing and his editorial work for the Press, he taught in the University.