This is a blatant plug for my mum's new book.
Nice first review in the Guardian:
"This is panoramic history of a high order. Uglow evokes the tumultuous events of the 1660s, and catches the feel of men and women living at the extremes of danger, pleasure and recklessness. The libertinism of the court, the violence of naval battles, the sufferings of those persecuted for their beliefs are all intensely conveyed. The enduring accomplishments are saluted too: the work of the Royal Society, the rise of a secular philosophy, the confident new architecture. Also recalled are the brilliant poets and dramatists who preserved the delights of fashion and wit in the amber of art. Yet from first to last it is the king who lives again through these pages, holding the age together, making his own history through calculation, compromise, whim and ingenuity. To understand how Charles learnt the difficult art of kingship, read this book." - Graham Parry