A striking portrait of Charles I, this book also looks closely at the role that the burgeoning financial powers played in shaping European politics and the effects that these powers had on the English monarchy during his reign. Belloc also explores the consequences of these effects for Europe generally. At the same time, it is a detailed study of the man who was Charles I with all his strengths, all his weaknesses. Belloc's sense of history sheds light on how those strengths and weaknesses contributed to action or inaction by Charles and how those actions affected England and the rest of Europe.
Hilaire Belloc began his academic career with a lecture tour of the United States in 1892. He became a member of the Fabian Society in the early 1900s and met George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells, who helped him obtain work with newspapers such as the Daily News and The Speaker. Eventually he became literary editor of the Morning Post. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1906. He also wrote several novels, such as Mr. Clutterbuck's Election and A Change in the Cabinet, along with historical works such as The French Revolution and History of England. Belloc also published a series of historical biographies: Oliver Cromwell, James II, Richelieu, Wolsey, Napoleon, and Charles II.