The Wisest Fool

The Lavish Life of James VI and I


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Discover James VI and I in “The Wisest Fool: The Lavish Life of James VI and I,” a compelling biography that debunks myths with vivid detail. Experience the real monarch, a visionary yet misunderstood king, through fresh insights from letters and state papers. A must-read that redefines a historical enigma.

In stock

Number of pages: 432

Published: 07 September 2023

SKU: 9781780278162 Categories: , , , , Tag:


Unveiling the enigmatic figure of James VI and I, “The Wisest Fool: The Lavish Life of James VI and I” presents a groundbreaking biography that transcends centuries of historical misinterpretations and biases. Renowned for being the first monarch to rule over Scotland, England, and Ireland simultaneously, James VI and I’s legacy has been marred by controversial anecdotes and the scathing criticisms of his adversaries. This book peels back the layers of myth and scandal to reveal the true essence of a king who has been misunderstood and overshadowed by his predecessors.

Crafted with meticulous research and a keen eye for historical detail, this biography draws upon an extensive array of primary sources including letters, state papers, and libels to reconstruct the life of James as his contemporaries saw him. Far from the caricatures of a slovenly, inarticulate, and unpopular ruler, James VI and I emerges as a vibrant, idealistic figure, deeply invested in the notion of family and unity, yet perpetually thwarted by the harsh realities of political life.

Through the pages of this compelling narrative, readers will encounter a monarch who navigated the treacherous waters of international diplomacy, domestic politics, and sexual intrigue with a unique blend of optimism and pragmatism. The author challenges prevailing assumptions about James’s sexuality, his alleged involvement in witch hunts, and his personal hygiene, presenting a nuanced portrayal of a king who sought to bridge the divides of his kingdom but was often labeled as a fool for his efforts.

This biography does not just recount the life of a king; it invites readers to reconsider what they thought they knew about James VI and I. It sheds light on the complex interplay of personal ambitions and political realities, revealing a monarch whose vision for his kingdoms was as grandiose as it was unattainable.

Praised by Philippa Gregory as “a real page-turner for lovers of history,” “The Wisest Fool: The Lavish Life of James VI and I” is not only a definitive account of one of history’s most intriguing figures but also a vibrant narrative that captivates and educates. Whether you are a history aficionado, a student of political intrigue, or simply someone fascinated by the stories of those who have shaped our world, this book promises an unforgettable journey into the heart and mind of James VI and I.

Additional information

Dimensions 23.4 × 15.6 cm