After Charles I's succession to the English throne in 1625, he transformed the political landscape of the country, dissolved parliament, and began a period of eleven years of personal rule. This authoritative reevaluation of Charles I's personal rule yields rich new insights into his character, reign, politics, religion, foreign policy and finance, as well as the importance of parliament and the process of government without it. In doing so, the book offers a vivid new perspective on the origins of the English Civil War. 'A book written with verve, lucidity, and grace ... It is a magnificent achievement: scholarly history on a grand scale, presented with stylishness and panache.' John Adamson, 'The Sunday Telegraph' 'A truly breathtaking and brilliantly sustained narrative based on a mind-boggling array of sources.' 'History' 'An impressive book ... its discussion of the main characters and their motives is riveting ... Its evidence will remain an invaluable contribution to Stuart studies.' Ronald Butt, 'The Times' 'Discussion of English affairs under Charles will now start from Sharpe's work.' 'Renaissance Studies' 'A monumental new work ... with an enormous amount of valuable information.' Derek Hirst, 'Times Literary Supplement' 'A major work of historical scholarship.' Hugh Trevor-Roper, 'The Weekend Telegraph' 'The largest and most wide-ranging analysis of the personal rule that has ever been written ... This is history on a bold and exciting scale, which seeks to cover all aspects of government in a way that few historians would now dare to attempt ... A treasure-trove of new and exciting material.' Anthony Milton, 'History Today' 'A very considerable tour de force.' Patrick Collinson, 'The Observer' Kevin Sharpe was director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and professor of renaissance studies at Queen Mary, University of London.