Here, in this book, are the brief histories of four men, each noticeably differing in character from the other three, but all four bound in the possession of a rare ambition—to be king—and all equally bound by the fact that, in every case, that ambition was attained.
Each, again, sought a different means to attain that ambition, and it is this difference of means, rather than any matter of historical period or geographical setting, which has governed my choice of these four from among the astonishingly large number of men who, beginning life in a most humble fashion, have achieved the dignity of the purple. MICHAEL HARRISON
LAMBERT SIMNEL: Said to be the son of Thomas Simnel, a joiner, of Oxford. Crowned in Dublin Cathedral as King Edward VI of England. Born 1475 and thought to be still alive in 1525.
KING THEODORE: Theodore von Neuhoff, born 1688, a baron of the Holy Roman Empire, and afterwards a soldier in the service of France and Sweden. Crowned King of Corsica, 1738, and died in London, a beggar, in 1756.
THE BLACK EMPEROR: Henry Christophe, a negro. Born 1763, the son of slaves, on the West Indian island of St Kitts. In turn a stone-mason’s apprentice, volunteer in the American revolutionary army, a billiard-marker, and general of the French Republic, he became, first, president, and then king, of Haiti. He died, at his own hand, 1820.
BERNADOTTE: Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, born 1768, a Gascon; the son of the town-bailiff of Pau. At first articled to his father’s profession, he enlisted as a private in the French regiment of Royal Marine Infantry. Created by Napoleon I, Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo and a Marshal of the Empire, he later ascended the combined thrones of Norway and Sweden as King Charles John XIV, and died in 1844.
e-Book, 170 pp.
(Tina Rhea #18)
ISBN 978-1-55497-391-0 $10.00