Charles Spencer, Chronicler of British History and Brother of Princess Diana, to Visit Drexel on Book Tour
January 09, 2015
A civil war that led to the beheading of a king, an 11-year discontinuation of the monarchy, followed by a bloody man-hunt for the judges who signed his death warrant – are all part of one of the most tumultuous times in England’s history and the subject of “Killers of the King,” the latest book by Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer. Spencer, the brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is both part of England’s recent history and a renowned chronicler of its more distant eras. On Jan. 22, he will visit Drexel University to talk about his book and also about what it’s like to run the Spencer family estate of Althorp —a real-life Downton Abbey— in the 21st Century. This event is part of a lecture series sponsored by the Kal & Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies.
On Jan. 22, nearly 366 years to the day after Charles I of England’s execution, Jan. 30, 1649, Spencer will retrace the steps he took in assembling his account of the events that followed in a book that fellow historical writers have called an “accomplished, gruesome…and masterful account of the fate of the regicides,” and an “a thrilling tale of retribution and bloody sacrifice, unflinching idealism and craven miscreancy.”
“Killers of the King,” which was released in the United States this month, examines the fates of the 59 men who signed the death warrant of Charles I. His beheading signaled a brief end to the monarchy in England and changed British history forever. When his son, Charles II rose to power amidst political unrest in 1660, he demanded violent retribution against the men who ordered the killing of his father.
Spencer, a direct descendent of Charles I, has written several books about English and European history and about the Spencer family. He is also an accomplished journalist and broadcaster, spending time at NBC’s “Today Show” and NBC News as a London correspondent. He produced a 10-part series called “The Great Houses of the World” for NBC Superchannel and presented two documentaries for the History Channel based on his book “Blenheim: Battle for Europe.”
Karen Curry, director of the Rudman Institute, will moderate a question and answer session with Spencer, which will be followed by a reception and book signing.
The event, which will take place on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in the URBN Annex Screening Room at 3401 Filbert Street, is free and open to the public.