'A real page-turner for lovers of history' - Philippa Gregory
James VI and I, the first monarch to reign over Scotland, England and Ireland, has long endured a mixed reputation. To many, he is simply the homosexual King, the inveterate witch-roaster, the smelly sovereign who never washed, the colourless man behind the authorised Bible bearing his name, or the drooling fool whose speech could barely be understood. For too long, he has paled in comparison to his more celebrated Tudor and Stuart forebears.
But who was he really? To what extent have myth, anecdote, and rumour obscured him?
In this new and ground-breaking biography, James’s story is laid bare and a welter of scurrilous, outrageous assumptions penned by his political opponents put to rest. What emerges is a portrait of Elizabeth I's successor as his contemporaries knew him: a gregarious, idealistic man obsessed with the idea of family, whose personal and political goals could never match up to reality. With reference to letters, libels and state papers, it casts fresh light on the personal, domestic, international and sexual politics of this misunderstood sovereign.