The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England
This riveting book explores the lives of eight generations of the greatest – and worst – royal dynasty this country has ever seen. They were the Plantagenets, and their story is the story of Britain.
The Plantagenets inherited a bloodied, broken kingdom from the Normans, and set about expanding royal rule until it stretched at its largest from the Scottish lowlands to the Pyrenees, and from the Ireland to the foothills of the Holy Roman Empire. At the same time, they developed aspects of English law, government, architecture, art and folklore that survive to this day. Despite all this, and having reigned for twice as long as their eventual successors, the Tudors, the Plantagenets remain relatively unknown.
In this gripping, vivid new book, Dan Jones brings the Plantagenets and their world back to life. This is both an epic narrative history of the ‘high’ Middle Ages, and a spellbinding portrait of a family blessed and cursed in equal measure.
THE PLANTAGENETS sweeps from Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s creation of a European empire to Richard the Lionheart’s heroic Third Crusade and King John’s humbling under Magna Carta. It explores the beginning of parliament under Henry III. It charts the fierce rule of Edward Longshanks, who conquered Wales and subdued Scotland but could never come to terms with his own son, the ill-fated Edward II. The book comes to an exciting climax in the age of chivalry, as Edward III saw England triumph in the Hundred Years War while plague stalked Europe, before the Black Prince and his beautiful princess Joan of Kent raised a son, Richard II, who would come to destroy the Plantagenet legacy. It is a compelling, fascinating journey through Britain’s most spectacular age.
THE PLANTAGENETS was published on 10th May 2012 by HarperPress
‘Stonking narrative history told with pace, wit and scholarship about the bloody dynasty that produced some of England’s most brilliant, brutal kings’
‘Colourful and engaging … Jones has produced an absorbing narrative that will help ensure that the Plantagenet story remains stamped on the English imagination’
– Sunday Times
‘Unapologetically about powerful people, their foibles, their passions and their weaknesses … vivid descriptions of battles and tournaments, ladies in fine velvet and knights in shining armour crowd the pages of this highly engaging narrative’
– Evening Standard
‘Action-packed … Filled with fighting, personality clashes, betrayal and bouts of the famous Plantagenet rage’
– Daily Telegraph
‘Dan Jones expertly weaves an enormous medieval tapestry, ranging from the Middles East of Richard the Lionheart’s Third Crusade to the battlefields of the Hundred Years War’
– Sunday Telegraph