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A Royal Passion: The Turbulent Marriage of King Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France

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A Royal Passion is intensely well-researched. The author makes some claims that past research on this topic has been shortsighted and not as thorough. Assuming that her characterization of previous works are correct, she's done a good job of debunking those previous works. There are footnotes and quotes galore in this book, which just goes to show how much work went into this book. I don't doubt that this has become one of the go-to academic books for this topic, purely based on the strength of its research.

But, unfortunately, all those footnotes and all those quotes come with a heavy price in readability. The book takes such pain to make so many phrases as close to verbatim as possible that the language becomes stilted. Quotes, rather than being used to supplement the text, are in many places used to replace it. This is great, if you're looking for a thoroughly researched, dry academic text, but not so great if you're looking for a broader historical overview of the topic.

My rating for this book is probably unfair. This book does what it wants to do, as it establishes a very close relationship between Charles and Henrietta Maria. But it doesn't match what I wanted it to do.

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