A brilliantly detailed and gripping account of the assassination in 1584 of Prince William of Orange, and the shockwaves it sent through an age.
The illustrious Making History Series, edited by Lisa Jardine and Amanda Foreman, explores an eclectic mix of history's tipping points. Here, the most eminent of guest writers have been invited to present a subject closest to their heart, presenting the grand theatre of the past in a collection of inventive and provocative essays. The series awakens fresh interest in subjects long before us – the decline of Aztec Empire, Waterloo, Nuremberg – as well as uncovering the seemingly quiet moments of chance which turned subsequent events on their head.
In The Awful End of Prince William the Silent, series editor Lisa Jardine explores the historical ramifications of just such a instance, the first assassination of a head of state with a hand-held gun. The shooting of Prince William of Orange in the hallway of his Delft residence in July 1584 by a French catholic – the second attempt on his life – had immediate political consequences: it was a serious setback for the Protestant cause in the Netherlands, as its forces fought for independence from the Catholic rule of the Hapsburg empire. But, as Jardine brilliantly illustrates, its implications for those in positions of power were even more far-reaching, as the assassination brutally and irrevocably heralded the arrival of a lethal new threat to the security of nations – a pistol that could be concealed and used to deadly effect at point-blank range.
Queen Elizabeth I, William's close Protestant ally, was devastated by his death and, being the subject of assassination plots herself, thrown into panic; in the aftermath of William's death, legislation was enacted in the English parliament making it an offence to bring a pistol anywhere near a royal palace. Elizabeth's terror was not misplaced – as Jardine observes, this assassination was the first in a long and bloody line that would take in those of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 and is all too relevant today.
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Praise for On A Grander Scale (2002):
'A wonderful book which looks set to be the definitive life of Wren for a long time to come' Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday
'A full and fascinating biography'
Antonia Fraser, New Statesman
‘Jardine…has made important archival discoveries…her prose sparkles.’ Sunday Telegraph
For The Curious Life of Robert Hooke (2003):
‘Lisa Jardine is a new star on England’s literary and historical scene. She has a gift, which so few historians possess, of making the past seem relevant to our own times.’ Paul Johnson
Lisa Jardine CBE is Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, and Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge. She writes and reviews for all the major UK national newspapers and magazines and for the 'Washington Post', and has presented and appears regularly on arts, history and current affairs programmes for TV and radio. She is a regular writer and presenter of 'A Point of View', on BBC Radio 4. She judged many important literary prizes including the 2000 Orwell Prize and the 2002 Man Booker Prize. She is the author of a number of best-selling general books, including 'Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance', 'Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution', and biographies of Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. Lisa Jardine is married to the architect John Hare and has three children.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007192576
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New HB with DJ 175 pp with index. Illustrated. The first assassination of a Head of State with a handgun. Bookseller Inventory # AWFULEND