The Wisest Fool
The Lavish Life of James VI and I
1326 in stock
No Gift Card Category Found.
The Wisest Fool is a sensitive portrait of a king who, despite errors of judgement managed to negotiate a period of exceptional political and religious turbulence... this is a probing, wellrounded and very readable account of a king too often over-looked, despite his pivotal role in modern British politics.'
It does not flinch from the flaws of character and errors of rule but makes a fair analysis of James the man as he struggled to become James the king ... a real page-turner for lovers of history
Two kingdoms, two very different reputations. Veerapen brings fresh life and acute insight into the conundrum that is the reigns of King James
Leanda de Lisle
[James] was derided as "the wisest fool in Christendom" - wise in small things, but a fool when it came to weightier matters. That image has now been punctured. Not for the first time a historical parody emerges on closer inspection to be largely based on manufactured propaganda
Steven Veerapen's biography of James VI/I is so good that it seems likely to become the definitive work about the life of a much maligned and perhaps poorly understood character.
He may not always have acted wisely during his reign, but a new biography shows that James VI and I was no fool...this is a very engaging book
an extremely well-balanced account of James' character... a highly accomplished and well-written work of creative non-fiction
It takes someone with the scholarship and narrative skills of Steven Veerapen to weave his way with through the evidence to provide a cohesive and plausible story, providing a book that will become essential reading for academics and ordinary history lovers alike
Amazon Five Stars
A really interesting biography… a deep dive into the facts and information paints something of a different story… busts some of the false ideas and presents a better picture of this historical person
Newbooks Network (British Studies)
Veerapen weaves a fresh and honest tapestry of James’s character in all its imperfect glory. It is based on scholarly study and achieved with appropriate gravitas . . . Only by examining his time as King of Scotland can later years be fully understood – and this is expertly done
GoodReads, FIVE stars
Steven Veerapen has done a splendid job in bringing this neglected king and the extraordinary life he led so vividly to the page . . . Expertly researched and eminently readable
The Writing Desk blog
About the Book
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.
'A real page-turner for lovers of history' - Philippa Gregory
Steven Veerapen was born in Glasgow to a Scottish mother and a Mauritian father and raised in Paisley. Pursuing an interest in the sixteenth century, he was awarded a first-class Honours degree in English, focussing his dissertation on representations of Henry VIII’s six wives.
You may also like…
Hardback | Pub: 04 Nov 2021£100.00
The renowned historian Jenny Wormald was a ground-breaking expert on early modern Scottish history, especially Stewart kingship, noble power and wider society. She was most controversial in her book-length critique of Mary, Queen of Scots....
Paperback | Pub: 05 May 2022£8.99
‘Beautifully written … a unique tale told in a unique voice’ – S.G. Maclean Summer, 1522. In a wave of pomp, Henry VIII’s court welcomes the Imperial emperor, Charles V. Anthony Blanke, the son of the king’s late ‘black...
Hardback | Pub: 09 Mar 2023£100.00
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...