We’re delighted to be sharing Elena’s thoughts about A Diamond in the Dust by Michael Dean.
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- Publisher : Holland Park Press (6 Oct. 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 210 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1907320962
- ISBN-13 : 978-1907320965
A Diamond in the Dust is a fictionalised account of the life of Charles I from his birth to the age of twenty-eight. It shows England’s most maligned monarch, Charles I, as he really was.
Dominated by his debauched father, James I, he grew up a diffident, stuttering, dreamy figure, wracked by a crippling disease – rickets. But he was lifted and defined by his passion for all the arts, especially theatre and painting.
Brutal real-life caught up with him, however, spinning him at the centre of a whirlwind of love, art, war and even murder, as he struggled unsuccessfully to keep control of his life and his kingdom.
This first novel in the trilogy The Stuarts: Love, Art, War, shows Charles I growing up and finding love. It puts the vilified king in a different light. Under the wing of his precocious sister Elizabeth he blossoms and his interest in culture and the arts grows into a passion or some would say an obsession.
Charles I lived life very much in the shadows as he grew up compared with his beautiful sister Elizabeth and his father’s favourite Henry, next in line to succeed James on the throne. His father was a domineering and brutal figure in his life and this was levelled out by the love and affection he held for Elizabeth and admiration for Henry. Suffering with rickets, he surprisingly had to take the throne after Henry died and become King.
The book tells the story of Charles’ life from birth up until his late twenties. The prologue reveals Charles’ thoughts as he is led to his execution which made me want to read about what happened before he got there.
Told in such a readable and interesting way I was invested in Charles’ story and the way he’s portrayed really brings him to life.
I enjoyed learning about his upbringing, family and how he became King and I particularly enjoyed his romance with Henrietta Maria!
I learned so much from reading A Diamond in the Dust and felt entertained all the way through.
As a monarch he was not perfect but he is extremely interesting and although I knew how things ended for him this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this book.
It’s a fabulous read and I am looking forward to the next instalment I’m the series.
Michael Dean has a history degree from Worcester College, Oxford, an MSc in Applied Linguistics from Edinburgh University and a translator’s qualification (AIL) in German. He has published several novels. The Darkness into Light omnibus (Sharpe Books, 2017): The Rise and Fall of the Nazis comprises five titles: Before the Darkness – about the German Jewish Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, assassinated in 1922; The Crooked Cross – about Hitler and art; The Enemy Within – about Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation; Hour Zero – about Germany in 1946; Magic City – a novel of Jewish identity set in Germany in the early 1970s. He also published some stand-alone novels: Thorn, (Bluemoose Books, 2011) about Spinoza and Rembrandt; I, Hogarth (Duckworth-Overlook, 2012), which sets out to unify Hogarth’s life with his art; The White Crucifixion, a novel about Marc Chagall, was published by Holland Park Press in February 2018. True Freedom – How America came to fight Britain for its independence was published by Holland Park Press in June 2019. His non-fiction includes a book about Chomsky and many educational publications.
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