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The Early Life of James VI

A Long Apprenticeship, 1566–1585

by Steven Reid

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ISBN: 9781788855310
Published: 09 Mar 2023
Format: E-Book
Extent: 448
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: John Donald
History / Medieval history
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About the Book

Shortlisted for the Saltire Society Scottish History Book of the Year Award

James VI and I was arguably the most successful ruler of the Stewart Dynasty in Scotland, and the first king of a united Great Britain. His ableness as a monarch, it has been argued, stemmed largely from his Scottish upbringing. This book is the first in-depth scholarly study of those formative years.

It tries to understand exactly when in James' 'long apprenticeship' he seized political power and retraces the incremental steps he took along the way. It also poses new answers to key questions about this process. What relationship did he have with his mother Mary Queen of Scots? Why did he favour his kinsman Esmé Stuart, ultimately Duke of Lennox, to such an extent that it endangered his own throne? And was there a discernible pattern of intent to the alliances he made with the various factions at court between 1578 and 1585? This book also analyses James’ early reign as an important case study of the impact of the Reformation on the monarchy of early modern Europe, and examines the cultural activity at James' early court.

The Author

Steven Reid

Steven J. Reid has a PhD in history from the University of St Andrews and is a Senior Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Glasgow. He was the first recipient of the Scottish History Society Postgraduate Prize in Palaeography in 2007 and was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting lecturer in Church History at Yale Divinity School in 2012. His first book, Humanism and Calvinism (2011), won the Hume Brown Senior Prize in Scottish History.

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