March 5, 2015. 7:30 pm. SOLD OUT. At the Goethe-Institut. 5750 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90036. Parking is in the building for $2 with validation from the Goethe Institut.
Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer: A Royal Tell-All, and a good one
Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, is the brother of the late Princess Diana and uncle to William and Harry. Here in Los Angeles, we might know him best for his fiery eulogy for Diana at Westminster Abbey, wherein he excoriated the press and the royal family for their treatment of his sister. What interests us here is that he brings to us a royal tell-all—but a good one.
But there is of course much more to Charles Spencer than his relationship to Buckingham Palace. He’s a journalist and an author; he’s written several highly regarded histories, including his latest, Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I. It’s about the regicide of Charles I, followed by the revenge enacted by Charles II on all those who signed his father’s death warrant. So it’s a 17th Century royal tell-all, and it is savagely juicy.
Consider a king with too much power, a shaky and marginalized Parliament who concludes that the only answer is execution. It was a revolution that shook Europe, and the nascent American colonies as well. After an eleven year exile, Charles II is restored to the throne by royalist allies, and his main goal is to avenge his father’s execution. He does so with gusto. Charles Spencer’s thrilling account informs us about the questions we don’t normally think about when we ponder rulers who have fallen: the remaining royal family in exile, their humiliations and descent. He explores the question of whether or not Parliament was just in its execution of the king, and it makes for a great story about power, abuse and unbridled revenge.
In conversation with Patt Morrison. Patt covered the royal family for the Los Angeles for years, and knows her history. You can catch her on KPCC when she guest-hosts Air Talk, and has been a great friend to Writers Bloc for years.