God’s Fury, England’s Fire
Poor Charles I. It’s hard to let go, gracefully. As with most members of an elite during a time of revolution, he decided it was better to accept complete destruction (in his case martyrdom) than suffer any diminution of his power. Should we admire him for that, or despise him? In this and other ways the story of the English Civil War(s) is complicated, mainly because, as so often happens in a revolution, much of it was driven by the law of unintended consequences. What happened, up to and including the execution of Charles Stuart, wasn’t what many of the main actors wanted to happen. Which is why revolutions, I think, are worth the kind of close study and analysis that this new history offers.