Royal Flush and The Proud Servant established Margaret Irwin as sound dramatic historian. This sustains that reputation -- and enhances it, in that she has chosen an unfamiliar and somewhat sinister figure and built of him -- and his times -- a reality he has not hitherto possessed. Rupert the Devil was used as a bugaboo for English children. She has shown him as great adventurer, the reckless fighter who by his fifteenth year had served in three wars. Grandson of James I, nephew of Charles I, his traditions were English, though he was born a Prince of Bohemia. He cought for Charles against Parliament, against his own brother -- and lost eventually. This is the story of Rupert -- and the story of the Civil Wars -- and the story of a great love. He lost -- but his biographer leaves him dreaming of other worlds to conquer. Not a light place of historical romance, but a solid, somewhat weighty book, unless one is interested in military tactics and details of warfare. But a vital, virile book which men will enjoy more than women. Important for a picked market.