Eight generations of the greatest and worst kings and queens that this country has ever seen – from the White Ship to the Lionheart, bad King John to the Black Prince and John of Gaunt – this is the dynasty that invented England as we still know it today – great history to appeal to readers of Ken Follet, Bernard Cornwell, Tom Holland
England’s greatest royal dynasty, the Plantagenets, ruled over England through eight generations of kings. Their remarkable reign saw England emerge from the Dark Ages to become a highly organised kingdom that spanned a vast expanse of Europe. Plantagenet rule saw the establishment of laws and creation of artworks, monuments and tombs which survive to this day, and continue to speak of their sophistication, brutality and secrets.
Dan Jones brings you a new vision of this battle-scarred history. From the Crusades, to King John’s humbling over Magna Carta and the tragic reign of the last Plantagenet, Richard II – this is a blow-by-blow account of England’s most thrilling age.
‘Stonking narrative history told with pace, wit and scholarship about the bloody dynasty that produced some of England’s most brilliant, brutal kings’ Observer
‘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
‘This is an unashamedly royal history and even the most insatiable appetite for chivalric deeds and aristocratic violence will be sated by its conclusion’ Sunday Times
About the author
Dan Jones took a first in History from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2002. He is an award-winning journalist and a pioneer of the resurgence of interest in medieval history. His first book on the Peasants’ Revolt received widespread critical acclaim. This is his second book. He lives in London.
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.