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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made Englandby Daniel Jones
Synopses & Reviews
From the best-selling author of The Places in Between, “a flat-out masterpiece” (New York Times Book Review), an exploration of the Marches—the borderland between England and Scotland—and the people, history, and conflicts that have shaped it
In The Places in Between Rory Stewart walked through the most dangerous borderlands in the world. Now he walks along the border he calls home—where political turmoil and vivid lives have played out for centuries across a magnificent natural landscape—to tell the story of the Marches.
In his thousand-mile journey, Stewart sleeps on mountain ridges and in housing estates, in hostels and in farmhouses. Following lines of ancient neolithic standing stones, wading through floods and ruined fields, he walks Hadrian’s Wall with soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan, and visits the Buddhist monks who outnumber Christian monks in the Scottish countryside today. He melds the stories of the people he meets with the region’s political and economic history, tracing the creation of Scotland from ancient tribes to the independence referendum. And he discovers another country buried in history, a vanished Middleland: the lost kingdom of Cumbria.
With every step, Stewart reveals the force of myths and traditions and the endurance of ties that are woven into the fabric of the land itself. A meditation on deep history, the pull of national identity, and home, The Marches is a transporting work from a powerful and original writer.
"Although less famous than their Tudor cousins, the 'unnaturally cruel' and powerful Plantagenets were the longest-reigning English royal dynasty, ruling for more than two centuries, from Henry II's ascendance in 1154 after a violent civil war to Richard II's deposition at the hands of his cousin Henry Bolingbroke in 1399. The great-grandson of William the Conqueror, Henry II — cunning, dynamic, and 'a great legalist' — ruled over England and great swaths of France, but was labeled a 'pariah' for his involvement in Archbishop Thomas Becket's murder and was betrayed by his redoubtable wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons. One of the dynasty's worst kings was Henry II's youngest son, John — 'weak, indecisive, and mean-spirited' — who killed his nephew, a hapless prisoner, with his own hands in a drunken rage, lost Normandy to France, and was forced to guarantee his barons' rights through the Magna Carta. By contrast, John's great-great-grandson, Edward III, considered the greatest Plantagenet, was a new Arthur who 'bonded England's aristocracy together in the common purpose of war,' revived the knight's code of chivalry, and ushered in English as the accepted language. Blood-soaked medieval England springs to vivid life in Jones's (Summer of Blood) highly readable, authoritative, and assertive history — already a #1 bestseller in the U.K. 6 maps. Agent: Georgina Capel, Capel & Land (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Places in Between, an exploration of the landscape of his home on the borderland between England and Scotland - known as the Marches — and the history, people, and conflicts that shape it
The New York Times bestseller that tells the story of Britainand#8217;s greatest and worst dynastyand#151;and#147;a real-life Game of Thronesand#8221; (The Literary Review)
A stunning achievement that brings one of the most tumultuous and fascinating periods of British history to life, The Plantagenets transports readers to the era of chivalry and the Crusades, the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. The first Plantagenet king inherited a broken, bloodsoaked realm from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that would stretch at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. His descendants and their fiery queens, including Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, Edward II, and King John, shaped England into the country we recognize today and gave it many of the laws, contracts, and bodies of governanceand#151;like Parliament and the Magna Cartaand#151;that would shape our own nation.
The Plantagenets will appeal to fans of Game of Thrones, as well as to anyone who has curled up with a history of Henry VIII or Queen Elizabeth and marveled at the cunning, the treachery, and the seductiveness of Englandand#8217;s most illustrious monarchs.
The dramatic and blood-soaked story of a tumultuous chapter in British history—from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Plantagenets
In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart in a brutal blood feud and succumbed to the unlikely Tudors. Treachery and intrigue ruled the land. Some of the great heroes and villains of history were thrown together in these turbulent times—from Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt and prudent rule marked the high point of the medieval monarchy, to Richard III, who murdered his own nephews in a desperate bid to secure his stolen crown. A long-overdue corrective to Tudor propaganda, this masterful and compulsively readable narrative dismantles the Tudors self-serving account of what they called the Wars of the Roses.
About the Author
Dan Jones is a historian and award-winning journalist. A graduate of Cambridge University, where he was a star student of David Starkey, he is one of the most gifted British historians of his generation. He lives in London.
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