(1598), a manual on the practice of kingship, was written by James I and VI for his eldest son, Prince Henry
. Though less polemical in tone than The Trew Law of Free Monarchies
, composed about the same time, it made apparent James's exalted view of kingly power. James wrote the Basilikon doron
for his own enjoyment and initially distributed it only among his family and close friends. Mass publication, in England
, came in March 1603, on the eve of James's accession to the English throne, when the Basilikon
quickly became a best seller and fuelled fears of the new king's absolutist tendencies.
Basilikon Doron (bəsĬ´lĬkən dô´rən) [Gr.,=royal gift], book written by James VI of Scotland (subsequently James I of England) as a guide for the conduct of his son Henry when he became king. The work was completed in manuscript in 1598 and published the following year. James warned Henry of meddlesome ministers and expounded the doctrine of the divine right of kings. Henry died in 1612 before he could succeed his father.
See edition by J. Craigie (1944–50).