In Majestie, author David Teems seamlessly blends quality historical research with superb readability. Who knew King James I of England could be such an interesting character? Teems introduces us to the King, giving great background and juicy details, and making his subject accessible to today’s readers. There are helpful footnotes, but the main text is insightful, yet not too dry, and quite colorful.
Beginning with stories such as how James was almost aborted in his mother’s womb, Teems gives great background that pulls back the curtain on the royal Stuart family, revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly in all their majestic glory. From the beginning, I was hooked and this biography read like a novel – full of intrigue, plotting, love affairs, and even the Bible.
While James is certainly the star of the book, other characters like his mother Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox, Elizabeth, Shakespeare, and many others move in and out of the spotlight from time to time. Of all the other subjects, it is the King James Bible (or Authorized Version) which takes center stage by the end of the book. As has been noted, the KJB is the bestselling book in history, and the most read.
Teems explores the process of translating the Bible into English, as well as looking at the men who played crucial roles in accomplishing this monumental task. Yet through it all, at the center remains James.
I highly recommend this book for those who are interested in a primer on the King James Bible, or for anyone who loves history. I especially enjoyed the Kindle version because of the ease of looking through footnotes and looking up other 17th Century figures, items, and ideas.
Have you read this one? What did you think? What are you reading these days?