This book is about a bloodthirsty and often terrifying period of British history, when the nation was divided and at war with itself and a number of countries in Europe. The Great Plague killed at least one fifth of the people of London and a great fire destroyed much of the city. There was even a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament! As much as a tenth of the population of Britain may have been killed in the Civil War, which was fought between King Charles I and the army of Parliament. Charles was defeated and for the first time in British history the nation was t ruled by a king or queen. This did t last very long, but never again was a monarch to rule with absolute power. This period also saw fantastic advances in scientific kwledge and the creation of some of the most beautiful art and architecture. Our book begins when the King of Scotland, James VI, became King of England.