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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (2012)

von Dan Jones

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1,3394010,781 (4.11)45
The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this history, Jones resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world.
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A thick book with short, easy-to-read chapters, covering 245 years of Plantagenet history as kings of England and some chapters setting the scene before that. Even in this thickness, there was a sense there was a lot more to cover, but as a brief introduction from the start to the end this worked very well. ( )
  mari_reads | Oct 13, 2021 |
This is a sweeping history of the kings who ruled England and initially Normandy, but also varying other areas of what is now France from about 1120 to 1400. It is easily readable narrative written about the kings personally and to a lesser extent the development of state power.
I have read a number of books covering various aspects of this period over the years, including the even more sweeping Foundation by Peter Ackroyd (English history through to Henry VII) and the excellent, but detailed, Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint.
This book is a very readable history, but because of the long time period covered, it is necessarily brief at times, leaving me wanting to read more details about various periods (and the book does provide a bibliography to direct reading). However, some periods (Henry III’s 56 year reign) did feel as if they were rushed, and the turn of the wheel of fortune was sometimes stated, but not fully explained. ( )
  CarltonC | Aug 6, 2021 |
Once again, Dan Jones surpassed my expectations. He does a fantastic job in writing about the Plantagenet Dynasty and the kings who ruled in the dynasty preceding the Tudors.
As per the norm in my reading Jones’ books, I found myself getting emotionally invested (maybe a little too emotionally invested at times) in the timeline, particularly when he discusses Edward I and Edward II.
There were times where I got confused, but in the classic Dan Jones style, he was able to clear up any confusion that I had pretty quickly.
The Plantagenet Dynasty was one I didn’t know much about, so it was nice to get this well written book as an introduction to the dynasty as a whole. (I have read a book about Edward I by Marc Morris which was a really good read.)
I definitely will be looking into reading more about this dynasty. ( )
  historybookreads | Jul 26, 2021 |
At first I was all like, "Man, the Plantagenets is super long and detailed, I will never get through this book." Then I was all like, "Man, this book is _super detailed_, this is great!" And then I was, "I am bummed because I finished the Plantagenets, does Dan Jones have any other books?" It turns out he does!

The Plantagenets is an immensely readable yet still dense history of the British Royal Family from 1135 to 1399 with the White Ship disaster of 1120, Henry I dying and the country falling into the Anarchy as Empress Matilda and King Stephen of Blois go to war. And from there we are off to the races following the wax and wane of the Plantagenets from the greatest of them (Henry II, Edward III, the Black Prince) to the very worst (Edward II, Richard II) and everyone in between. There is blood and treachery and war and murder and regicide and treason and big pitched battles and Scots and crazed Welshmen fighting in swamps and drama.

If you're super interested in the 800th year anniversary of the Magna Carta and its impacts to history, this book goes into pretty good detail.

Loved it, would recommend it. A fine book of history. Totally worth the high ratings it has on Goodreads. ( )
  multiplexer | Jun 20, 2021 |
Very well-written and compelling. Jones weaves a narrative across 275 years of history and the reigns of a dozen monarchs. His prose is straightforward and he uses the perfect combination of detail and distance to put everything into context. I loved watching the eternal Catch-22 all of the Plantagenet rulers found themselves in: They needed victories in France to boost political capital at home... but those victories required tax hikes that decreased that same political capital. How much of the Plantagenets' fates really did come from their character and abilities, and how much actually came from simple luck on the battlefield? ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
"Fast-paced and accessible, "The Plantagenets" is old-fashioned storytelling and will be particularly appreciated by those who like their history red in tooth and claw."
 
"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."
hinzugefügt von bookfitz | bearbeitenPublishers Weekly (Apr 22, 2013)
 
"Jones, a protege of David Starkey, writes with his mentor's erudition but also exhibits novelistic verve and sympathy."
hinzugefügt von bookfitz | bearbeitenThe Guardian, Alexander Larman (Jun 2, 2012)
 
"Jones has written a magnificently rich and glittering medieval pageant, guiding us into the distant world of the Plantagenets with familiar confidence."
hinzugefügt von bookfitz | bearbeitenThe Telegraph, Nigel Jones (May 23, 2012)
 
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For a sensible man ought to consider that Fortune's favor is variable and her wheel is ever turning... [T]he Prince must take care, and always have imprinted on his mind the fact that although the merciful Creator... is long-suffering and patient... He is likewise severe in executing punishment and vengeance upon the stubborn and willful, and usually begins to exact that punishment here on earth.
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The prince was drunk.
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The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this history, Jones resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world.

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