Prince Who Would Be King
Sarah Fraser, Read by Richard Trinder

Book cover image

Narrated By: Richard Trinder

Duration: 9 hours and 41 minutes

What to expect

Charismatic, gifted, dynamic – dead at only eighteen years old, on the point of succeeding to the throne.

In 1610, Henry Stuart was a celebrity throughout Europe, at a momentous period for European history and culture. Eldest son of James VI and the epitome of heroic Renaissance princely virtue, his life was set against a period about as rich as any. The King James Bible, religious tension throughout Europe, Gunpowder plot, Jacobean theatre and the dark tragedies pouring from Shakespeare’s quill, innovation in learning and science, exploration and trade – as well and the bloody traumas of the Thirty Years War were his backdrop. The Lost Prince tells the life story of the prince, now completely forgotten, who might have saved us from King Charles I, his spaniels and the civil war his misrule engendered.

Genre

Biography: royalty

Listen to a sample

'Fraser paints a striking picture … [this] highly readable book has restored this lost prince to his rightful place in our national memory … It is to be hoped she has also contributed to the necessary task of weaning us off our national addiction to the Tudors. The seventeenth century is a crucial … period of our history' BBC History Magazine

'Fraser … has created an attractive picture of a young man in a hurry … With a strong narrative…Fraser's account of his investiture in June 1610 is one of the highlights of the story… It helps that Fraser is clearly not a little in love with her subject and why not? From all the available accounts Henry was the Prince Charming of his day, a young man who combined physical attributes, notably courage, with a ready wit and a capacity to wear his learning lightly' Trevor Royle, The Glasgow Herald

'Among the larger than life characters of the Tudor and Stuart period, Henry Stuart is often relegated to a … side player. Here, he gets a whole book dedicated to his story, and it's certainly a tale worth telling. Son of James VI and I, Henry was a key figure in his own right: he created a … renaissance court of writers and thinkers, and worked to establish a permanent British presence in America … What he packed into his brief life, and why it should be better remembered, are explored in this compelling, lively biography' History Revealed Magazine

‘The person to whom the public looked for future deliverance was James’s eldest son, Henry, the subject of this compelling and lyrical new biography. Sarah Fraser shows how Henry came first to embody the expectations of a nation and then shatter them by dying suddenly from typhoid in 1612, at the age of 18. She manages to distil from Henry’s short life a thorough case study of a crown prince coming of age … excellent book’ Country Life