Killers of the King

  • by Charles Spencer
  • Narrated by Tim Bruce
  • 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

January, 1649. After seven years of fighting in the bloodiest war in Britain’s history, Parliament had overpowered King Charles I and now faced a problem: what to do with a defeated king, a king who refused to surrender?Parliamentarians resolved to do the unthinkable, to disregard the Divine Right of Kings and hold Charles I to account for the appalling suffering and slaughter endured by his people. A tribunal of 135 men was hastily gathered in London, and although Charles refused to acknowledge the power of his subjects to try him, the death sentence was unanimously passed. On an icy winter’s day on a scaffold outside Whitehall, in an event unique in English history, the King of England was executed.When the dead king’s son, Charles II, was restored to the throne, he set about enacting a deadly wave of retribution against all those - the lawyers, the judges, the officers on the scaffold - responsible for his father’s death. Some of the 'regicides’ - the killers of the king - pleaded for mercy, while others stoically awaited their sentence. Many went into hiding in England, or fled to Europe or America. Those who were caught and condemned suffered agonising and degrading ends, while others saw out their days in hellish captivity.
Best-selling historian Charles Spencer explores this violent clash of ideals through the individuals whose fates were determined by that one, momentous decision. A powerful tale of revenge from the dark heart of royal history and a fascinating insight into the dangers of political and religious allegiance in Stuart England, these are the shocking stories of the men who dared to kill a king.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wow! Balanced, interesting and entertaining.

Would you consider the audio edition of Killers of the King to be better than the print version?

This book owes much to contemporary sources, memoirs and diaries as well as historical documents. Tim Bruce brings all above to life, changing his voice and accent in so many ways that you can really hear historical figures speaking. It makes already fascinating story even more compelling and engaging. Together with brilliant storytelling of Spencer, Bruce's narration make this but a must.


What did you like best about this story?

Charles I was, and still is, a controversial figure. So are the men who condemned him to death. This book is not so much about history, dates and political facts, as it is about people, their believes, principles and convictions. It is fascinating to learn about people who made the history, ordinary people with their troubles and joys. This book is not about Oliver Cromwell nor is it about the war or Charles I. It is about a group of peple that most of us never heard of, about the crow behind the events. And it's a bloody brilliant book and bloody good story!


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Lady Fairfax, wife of the prominent parliamentary general and close friend of Oliver Cromwell, heckling the prosecutors during King Charles's trial. Fantastic. And I will forever cringe when hearing the word 'Downing', as in Downing Street, for he betrayed former friends all over Europe and delivered them to the Restoration's retribution for his former enemy's, Charles I death. Bastard.


Any additional comments?

I took my player to the bathroom in order not to interrupt listening. If that's not a proof of how engaging and interesting this story is, I don't know what is.

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- carrosvoss

A ferociously good book



This history is dark and gruesome and the politics are complex, but what shines through is the lengths people will go to, to do what they think is right. It is incredible to think the acts of insane torture were carried out a stone's throw away from the seat of British Government and the street where our Prime Minister lives is named after one of the most odious men in history. The section of the book set in America is particularly riveting and it is humbling to read about the brave souls who risked their own lives to protect the fugitives when they could easily have protected themselves by handing them over to the Royalist forces. The sadness of men forced to live the rest of their days away from families who clearly loved them, was incredibly moving.

This has been a great audio experience even though I did struggle with keeping track of the vast array of characters. To remedy this I am going to buy the book in print.
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- Kaggy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-11-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury