Steven Veerapen at The National Library of Scotland


The Wisest Fool: The Lavish Life of James VI and I

Join author Steven Veerapen to hear about the compelling narrative of James VI and I, one of the most significant and misunderstood British monarchs.

‘a page-turner for lovers of history’ – Philippa Gregory

James VI and I has long endured a mixed reputation. To many, he is the homosexual King, the inveterate witch-roaster, the smelly sovereign who never washed, the colourless man behind the authorised Bible bearing his name, the drooling fool whose speech could barely be understood. For too long, he has paled in comparison to his more celebrated – and analysed – Tudor and Stuart forebears. But who was he really? To what extent have myth, anecdote, and rumour

obscured him?

In this new 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 James VI and I 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.

The National Library of Scotland presents author and historian Steven Veerapen on November 30th, 5.30 – 6.30pm. This event will take place on-site at the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. Book your ticket to attend the event on-site.



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Thursday 30 Nov 2023
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. United Kingdom