Royal Charles

PDF-file by Antonia Fraser

Royal Charles PDF ebook download A typically well-researched and exhaustive biography by Antonia Fraser that, like her volume on Marie-Antoinette, leaves your feeling strangely distanced from the title subject.She does an excellent job in situating her subject, here King Charles II, within his historical moment, but I can't help but feel like, even after 600+ pages, I don't know who the man is.Perhaps a measure of my displacement has less to do with Miss Fraser and more with the nature of identity-formulation in the 17th century.The concept of personality, as we understand it, was foreign to 17th century thought.Formulation of the self was closer in spirit to the methods of the stage actor: you create an image in your mind of how you wish to be perceived by others, and you project that notion from out yourself.Life was lived as a series of roles; roles gathered from life and collated in the imagination.All the rest were dregs and drags.Fraser does a good a job as any in corralling the disparate strands that comprise the "character" of King Charles II and pulling them together for us to read.He, more than any other man, was the public face of that most turbulent period in English history, and thusly, could have no face at all.

I intend to read CHARLES'S RESTORATION GAME for a more detailed examination of his court: theater, dancing, cards and play.

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