James II & VII was not born to be a king. As the Duke of York he grew up in a Britain divided by civil wars and witnessed big events in British history including the Battle of Edgehill (1642).
After the execution of his father Charles I at the hands of the Parliamentarians, James soldiered in Europe until his brother, Charles II was restored to the crowns of Britain.
Under his brother's reign, James converted to Catholicism and subsequently became the heart of several political storms until 1681.
Upon inheriting the throne from his brother Charles II, in 1685, James struggled to balance his personal faith and the evolving politics of the time, upsetting courtiers, his parliament and his subjects eventually leading to the Glorious Revolution and him losing his throne in 1688.
This book examines the politics and events of James' life, both before and during his reign, to explain why he was unable to maintain the thrones of Britain, as well as the last few years of his life in exile, how he tried to regain the throne and his sad death.
Often overlooked as just a king who ruled for less than four years, James II & VII was an accidental but key historical figure in the shaping of British history. The events at the end of his reign were the first steps in creating a better constitution and democratic Britain.