The Awful End of Prince William the Silent

The Awful End of Prince William the Silent : The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun

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In The Awful End of Prince William the Silent, Lisa Jardine explores the historical ramifications of the first assassination of a head of state with a hand-gun. The shooting of Prince William of Orange in the hallway of his Delft residence in July 1584 by a French Catholic - the second attempt on his life - had immediate political consequences: it was a serious setback for the Protestant cause in the Netherlands, as its forces fought for independence from the Catholic rule of the Habsburg empire. But, as Jardine illustrates, its implications for those in positions of power were even more far-reaching, as the assassination brutally and irrevocably heralded the arrival of a lethal new threat to the security of nations: a weapon that could be concealed and used to deadly effect at point-blank range.
Queen Elizabeth I, William's close Protestant ally, was devastated by his death and, being the subject of assassination plots herself, thrown into panic; in the aftermath of William's murder, legislation was enacted in the English Parliament making it an offence to bring a pistol anywhere near a royal palace. Elizabeth's terror was not misplaced - as Jardine observes, this assassination was the first in a long and bloody line that would take in those of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, and is all too relevant even today.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 175 pages
  • 147.3 x 215.9 x 22.9mm | 294.84g
  • United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0060838353
  • 9780060838355

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123 ratings
3.26 out of 5 stars
5 9% (11)
4 31% (38)
3 39% (48)
2 20% (24)
1 2% (2)
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