Monday, March 28, 2005
16:Hercules Hunks and his friend Charlie
couldn't find a picture of this book anywhere. And yes, I know I could scan a picture of the copy I have, but I can't be arsed, see?
CV Wedgwood, as we all know, tramped across all of England and undertook Herculean research into the causes, course, and consequences of the English Civil War. Because everyone else was reading them, I too tried to read her Civil War books, but was not that interested in real history books at the time. However, having read a brief account of Charles I's trial in Virgin Earth (see below), I was interested enough to pick this book up (The Trial of Charles I) from the shop.
It's very interesting. The hilariously named Hercules Hunks was, in fact, a Republican guard tasked with watching Charles during one of his many imprisonments. Charles gave his gold toothpick case away to one of his servants just before he died. It took five days for the news of his death to reach Charles II in Holland, and even then he could only believe what he read in the actual newspapers, because there was so much rumour flying around up until then. This book is chock full of interesting little facts like these, as well as giving an excellent and clear account of how the trial went, and why it went the way it did. I am hooked on Wedgwood's writing style now, and am only sorry (because I am not that interested in reading about Mighty Wars) that she never got around to finishing her book about the English Republic.