Charles II and his Escape into Exile written by Martyn R Beardsley and published by Pen and Sword Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 164.
Returning to England to try to reclaim his throne, King Charles II was defeated at the Battle of Worcester but the battle to save his own life had only just begun. Pursued wherever he went by soldiers from the conflict as well as local militia, Charles donned peasant clothing, crudely cut his hair and tried to adopt a rustic accent. With the secret help of a succession of loyal citizens, he walked until his feet were shredded, waded rivers, coolly mixed with anti-royalists and enemy troopers – and, of course, hid in an oak tree. Never sure of who could be trusted, it was touch and go all the way to the coast and, hopefully, a boat that would take him to freedom.
This book looks at the run up to the Battle of Worcester, the battle and the end of it. It then charts through the various chapters the people, characters and ways that helped him to escape after the battle when his luck was out. It also looks at the various places and ways he used to escape and hid himself from view or recognition. This story was told very well and I actually really enjoyed reading the book, but I probably wanted to read more or was expecting more. But I don’t want to detract from the writing because the book was well written by the author Martyn R. Beardsley. This was probably because I have read about the story before and so it was a bit of a repeat. I did enjoy the numerous facts and titbits of information throughout at the end of the chapters, quite a few were new to me. If you want a book about the exile of Charles II, this is the book for you, if you want more or a longer book about Charles II, maybe another book might be better.