The Plantagenets

The story of the Knights Templar in England is intertwined with the Plantagenet monarchs – the descendants of England’s Norman conquerors. This book is a populist history of these kings with such larger than life characters as Henry II (he of Thomas Beckett infamy), Richard the Lionheart, King John (Magna Carta), Edward I (think Braveheart) and the haughty and brutally killed Richard II (believed to have been starved to death). Read and enjoy!

Mutterings from the gutter

Apologies to regular visitors to the blog – I’ve been somewhat busy of late with working on my first book, a biography of the poet Lord Rochester, but I will update when I get a chance (or when something interests me enough to spend an hour or so writing about it.) Here’s a reprint of a recent review that I did for The Observer. 

“The prince was drunk” is the attention-grabbing first sentence of Dan Jones’s The Plantagenets. There follows an account of the 1120 wreck of royal prince William the Aetheling’s flagship, The White Ship, and the subsequent centuries of alternating triumph and disaster visited upon the Plantagenet dynasty, up until the beginning of Henry IV’s reign in 1399.

Jones, a protege of David Starkey, writes with his mentor’s erudition but also exhibits novelistic verve and sympathy. Following his acclaimed account of the Peasant’s Revolt,Summer of Blood

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