[Review] Royal Exiles: From Richard the Lionheart to Charles II by Iain Soden

Title: Royal Exiles: From Richard the Lionheart to Charles II
Author: Iain Soden
Publisher: Amberley 17 October 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, history
Theme: Brief stories of royalty while in another country, either because they were taken prisoner or they fled the country.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 160, with 57 black and white illustrations
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for the purpose of review.

Author Iain Soden has given a glimpse of nine royal lives, when they experienced captivity or were forced to flee to another country.
Beginning with Richard I, also known as the Lionheart. During the Third Crusade, Leopold was disrespected and shamed by "Richard's retainers" during a battle. While Richard was traveling back home to England, Leopold still angered by the disrespect shown him, held Richard in his castle in Austria. Eventually Richard was set free, but only after Leopold proved his point.
Other stories include:
  • Jean II of France 
  • Charles, the Duke of Orleans of France 
  • Edward IV
  • Henry VI 
  • Henry VIII, 
  • Mary, Queen of Scots 
  • Charles I of England
  • Prince Charles II
Most of the stories (with the exception of Mary, Queen of Scots) I'd not read before.
I loved having a distinct focus for each of these historical figures.
Reading about how they "really" were as a person in captivity or away from their country, gave me a peek into the person behind the royal mask. Some of them continued to be treated as royalty, others had to "make do".
Edward IV of England was in Bruges, Belgium during his "furlough" from the throne. I'd traveled to Bruges in 2001. It's a beautiful and picturesque city, a huge tourist attraction. I loved reading about how Bruges was in the 1400s.
I have a soft spot for Mary. I'm glad the author included her, I never tire of reading about her.
This is a perfect introduction book for anyone wanting to read brief stories about royalty.