Cover image for Rebellion : the history of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution
Rebellion : the history of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution
Ackroyd, Peter, 1949-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press ; 2014.
Physical Description:
ix, 502 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Examines the Stuart dynasty during a turbulent seventeenth century marked by civil war, the execution of Charles I, the rule of Oliver Cromwell, and the deposition and exile of James II.
General Note:
First published in Great Britain by Macmillan as a set, complete in 6 volumes, under the common title: The history of England; Rebellion is volume 3 in that series.

"First published in Great Britain under the title Civil War by Macmillan."--Title page verso
A new Solomon -- The plot -- The beacons -- The God of money -- The angel -- The vapours -- What news? -- A Bohemian tragedy -- The Spanish travellers -- An interlude -- Vivat Rex -- A fall from grace -- Take that slime away -- I am the man -- The crack of doom -- The shrimp -- Sudden flashings -- Venture all -- A great and dangerous treason -- Madness and fury -- A world of change -- Worse and worse news -- A world of mischief -- Neither hot nor cold -- The gates of Hell -- The women of war -- The face of God -- The mansion of liberty -- A game to play -- To kill a king -- This house to be let -- Fear and trembling -- Healing and settling -- Is it possible? -- The young gentleman -- Oh prodigious change -- On the road -- To rise and piss -- And not dead yet? -- The true force -- Hot news -- New infirmities -- Or at the cock? -- Noise rhymes to noise -- The Protestant wind.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA375 .A25 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DA375 .A25 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of the greatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of the history of England, beginning with the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ending with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II.

The Stuart monarchy brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king. Shrewd and opinionated, James I was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft, and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would splitthe country during the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant, warts-and-all portrayal of Charles's nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, Parliament's great military leader and England's only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as "that man of blood," the king he executed.

England's turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare's late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton and Thomas Hobbes's great philosophical treatise, Leviathan . In addition to its account of England's royalty, Rebellion also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.

Author Notes

Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. He graduated from Cambridge University and was a Fellow at Yale (1971-1973). A critically acclaimed and versatile writer, Ackroyd began his career while at Yale, publishing two volumes of poetry. He continued writing poetry until he began delving into historical fiction with The Great Fire of London (1982).

A constant theme in Ackroyd's work is the blending of past, present, and future, often paralleling the two in his biographies and novels. Much of Ackroyd's work explores the lives of celebrated authors such as Dickens, Milton, Eliot, Blake, and More. Ackroyd's approach is unusual, injecting imagined material into traditional biographies. In The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983), his work takes on an autobiographical form in his account of Wilde's final years. He was widely praised for his believable imitation of Wilde's style. He was awarded the British Whitbread Award for biography in 1984 of T.S. Eliot, and the Whitbread Award for fiction in 1985 for his novel Hawksmoor.

Ackroyd currently lives in London and publishes one or two books a year. He still considers poetry to be his first love, seeing his novels as an extension of earlier poetic work.

(Bowker Author Biography) Peter Ackroyd is the award-winning author of four biographies, most recently the national bestseller "The Life of Thomas More", as well as ten novels, including "Chatterton" & "Hawksmoor". He lives in London, where he is at work on his next book, "London: The Biography.

(Publisher Provided) Peter Ackroyd is a bestselling writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He lives in London.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, broadcaster, and historian. In the third volume of his projected six-volume history of England, his subject is the tumultuous seventeenth century, which encompassed the rise of the Stuart dynasty, the continued artistic flowering launched in the Elizabethan Age, a ruinous civil war, and the triumph of parliamentary supremacy under the banner of the Glorious Revolution. Ackroyd is a wonderful storyteller, and he has a wonderful and vitally important story to tell. At times, he employs the great man approach, providing excellent insights into the character and motivations of several of the prime movers of events, including the awkward, intelligent James I; the tragically tone-deaf, doomed Charles I; and Charles' nemesis, the distinctly unlovable Oliver Cromwell. But Ackroyd also understands that what he refers to as the poetry of history can be written in short strokes as well as broad. He eloquently describes the development of literature, the ongoing religious controversies, and the evolving political sympathies and their effects on the lives and opinions of ordinary citizens. Although general readers in the U.S. may find some of the names and places unfamiliar, this masterful work of popular history will remind them that the ideas that launched our own revolution were forged during this seminal period of English history.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Agitation was in the air throughout 17th-century England, and Ackroyd skillfully captures the feelings and events of the time in this third volume of his history of England (following Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I). The narrative opens with the merging of England and Scotland under one monarch, James I, whose massive gluttony Ackroyd contrasts with the dire finances of the country as a whole. There existed a "gulf between king and country," as the author describes it, which only widened during the reign of James I's successor, Charles I, due to wars with Spain and France. Following great financial distress and a civil war that pitted royalists against parliamentarians, Charles I was executed. While Scotland declared Charles II king, England's parliament steered the country into what became the "Commonwealth of England," with Oliver Cromwell as "Lord Protector." In 1660, the monarchy was restored with Charles II on the throne. Ackroyd ends at the Glorious Revolution-when William III (William of Orange) overthrew James II after yet more religious upheaval-having left no stone unturned. Addressing politics, religion, court life, scandal, science, literature, and art, the depth and scope of Ackroyd's account is impressive, and it is as accessible as it is rich. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Choice Review

Master storyteller Ackroyd's third study in his projected six-volume history of England picks up where he left off in Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I (CH, May'14, 51-5226). This straightforward narrative chronicling the years from 1603 to 1689 details England's turbulent 17th century. From the union of the crowns of England and Scotland under James I through the ensuing growth of parliamentary discord, civil war, and regicide, to the eventual accession of William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution, the author paints a vivid portrait of the peaks and valleys of the Stuart age. As a matter of course, Ackroyd delivers a colorful, anecdotal history that is highly accessible to general readers. While Tim Harris's similarly titled Rebellion: Britain's First Stuart Kings, 1567-1642 (CH, Oct'14, 52-1045) appears to cover comparable ground, it is more academic in nature and focuses primarily on the development of the Stuart monarchy and the reasons for its eventual collapse under Charles I. Both studies have their respective audiences, and therefore a place in the same collection. This volume includes more than 30 high quality illustrations. Summing Up: Recommended. General collections/public libraries. --Michele Frasier-Robinson, University of Southern Mississippi

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. vii
1 A new Solomonp. 1
2 The plotp. 13
3 The beaconsp. 26
4 The god of moneyp. 29
5 The angelp. 37
6 The vapoursp. 48
7 What news?p. 54
8 A Bohemian tragedyp. 63
9 The Spanish travellersp. 77
10 An interludep. 93
11 Vivat rexp. 106
12 A fall from gracep. 116
13 Take that slime awayp. 126
14 I am the manp. 140
15 The crack of doomp. 149
16 The shrimpp. 159
17 Sudden flashingsp. 170
18 Venture allp. 181
19 A great and dangerous treasonp. 195
20 Madness and furyp. 206
21 A world of changep. 215
22 Worse and worse newsp. 223
23 A world of mischiefp. 231
24 Neither hot nor coldp. 241
25 The gates of hellp. 248
26 The women of warp. 261
27 The face of Godp. 268
28 The mansion house of libertyp. 279
29 A game to playp. 284
30 To kill a kingp. 296
31 This house to be letp. 311
32 Fear and tremblingp. 327
33 Healing and settlingp. 331
34 Is it possible?p. 348
35 The young gentlemanp. 357
36 Oh, prodigious change!p. 364
37 On the roadp. 378
38 To rise and pissp. 382
39 And not dead yet?p. 390
40 The true forcep. 403
41 Hot newsp. 407
42 New infirmitiesp. 423
43 Or at the Cock?p. 438
44 Noise rhymes to noisep. 443
45 The Protestant windp. 453
Further readingp. 471
Indexp. 481