The righteous royal rebel

Man of the people or power-hungry opportunist? The Duke of Monmouth's bid for the crown perished on the Somerset Levels in 1685 – and, with it, his reputation. But, says Anna Keay, it's time to revise our ideas about the illegitimate son of Charles II...

Portrait of James, Duke of Monmouth, the 36-year-old illegitimate son of Charles II. (Photo by Alamy)

This article was first published in the July 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

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