Eikon Basilike (2 vols.)
Blades, East & Blades, John W. Luce and Company 1896–1907
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On January 30, 1649, in the aftermath of the English Civil War, parliament executed King Charles I for high treason. 10 days later Eikon Basilike appeared claiming to be the deceased King’s spiritual autobiography. A historically unique volume, “The King’s Book” is both an exemplary piece of Anglican piety and a master-stroke of political propaganda. Its author—Charles I or otherwise—was an effective rhetorician, steeped in the simple and solemn language of the Book of Common Prayer and the Anglican liturgy. Eikon Basilike defends Charles’ monarchy and depicts the deposed king as a martyr, even likening his sufferings to those of Christ. It was immediately wildly popular, going through an unheard of 36 printings in its first year alone. In the bibliography that accompanies this edition, Edward Almack claims of the Eikon, “so marvelous was its effect, that . . . nothing but the Government’s ingenious and persistent condemnations of the work prevented an immediate restoration of the monarchy.”
Written from the perspective of a doomed king, the pages of Eikon Basilike drip with pious emotion. According to Almack, “a touching pathos and simple dignity pervade every chapter. . . . the king’s subjects instantly recognized the stamp of the king’s own character in every page.” Almack’s accompanying bibliography provides a guide to the literary response to the Eikon, and investigates claims of authorship later made by John Gauden and others.
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- Presents the Eikon Basilike or, “The King’s Book,” purportedly written by Charles I in the days preceding his execution
- Includes a bibliography investigating the authorship of Eikon Basilike and analyzing literary responses
- Provides a historically unique perspective on faith and politics
- Eikon Basilike by Charles I
- A Bibliography of The King’s Book, or Eikon Basilike by Edward Almack
- Title: Eikon Basilike
- Volumes: 2
- Pages: 627