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Henry II (Penguin Monarchs): A Prince Among Princes



By: Richard Barber(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Biography

Publisher: Allen Lane (30 April 2015)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: Henry II (Penguin Monarchs): A Prince Among Princes

Henry II (1154-89) through a series of astonishing dynastic coups became the ruler of an enormous European empire. One of the most dynamic, restless and clever men ever to rule England, he was brought down both by his catastrophic relationship with his archbishop Thomas Becket and his debilitating arguments with his sons, most importantly the future Richard I and King John. His empire may have ultimately collapsed, but in Richard Barber's vivid and sympathetic account the reader can see why Henry II left such a compelling impression on his contemporaries.

"Barber . . . demonstrates a gift for lucid, lively prose and an ability to make highly complex developments cutting across religion, literature and politics both immediate and accessible. . . . Engaging reading as both literary criticism and cultural history, thanks largely to the author's fluency and aplomb as a writer." "New York Times "on "The Holy Grail""

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  • By EF on 12 September 2017

    An excellent, concise history of one of England's outstanding kings. A fascinating read.

  • By Anna on 11 June 2015

    "Henry may only be remembered now as Becket’s nemesis and as the husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, but it is he, rather than his swashbuckling son Richard, who deserves to have a statue outside the Houses of Parliament"This book is a fantastic read and provides a brilliant look at perhaps one of the most overlooked Plantagenet kings. As the quote above indicates, Henry was an incredibly influential king who shaped English common law but has been overlooked, it is argued here partially due to his distaste towards ostentation.I was thoroughly excited for the release of this book and it did not disappoint, I myself have found in my reading that Henry's accomplishments are overshadowed by the failures of his reign, his relationships with his wife, his sons and the church. This provides a personal look at Henry up close which is incredibly well written.Those unacquainted with the Angevins may enjoy this but I think it is perfect reading for those who are knowledgeable on the topic but find Henry to sometimes be a forgetful figure.(Taken from my goodreads.)

  • By Mr Tim Cole on 6 November 2016

    This latest volume in the Penguin Monarchs series focuses on the long and eventful reign of King Henry II, whose empire not only included England but over half of continental France too! King Henry II was one of the most successful of our Medieval Kings. But as , acknowledged expert of the period, Richard Barber states Henry was beset by four rebellious sons and a avenging Queen who defied her husband and supported her rebelling sons, particularly the famed third son Richard 'The Lion-heart' Henry also famously quarrelled with his one-time friend Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury whose murder he supposedly organised in 1170. Henry was genuinely grief-stricken and did penance for this murder for the rest of his life. yet, these events only half tells the story of a remarkable man who possessed remarkable energy and a genuine ability on the battlefield that has been to readily ignored by many historians. He was also a famous law maker and many of his statues have become enshrined in the England we know today. Henry was a remarkable talent who ruled effectively over a vast empire for over thirty five years which is a huge achievement. This little gem of a book explores Henry's action-packed life and looks behind the myths that have long plagued this much misunderstood and maligned king. Its is a great read and one I which could have been longer. I urge you to order your copy now and you will not be disappointed!

  • By Lovebooks on 15 September 2015

    Clear and concise. Gives information in an interesting way and easy to read

  • By Justme on 17 May 2015

    It's an interesting read. I have read various accounts of the times of Henry II - find this period in history very interesting and it's good to see different angles on what happened around him. Well-written, concise but informative. Am still reading it as and when I can but certainly gripped to read on.

  • By Zog on 21 January 2016

    It's a bit short but what there is is interesting and well written.

  • By Julian Kerrell-Vaughan on 3 June 2015

    Superb book which has taught me a great deal about a monarch of whom I knew little. Well written and enjoyable.

  • By Juliette Beahan on 18 August 2016

    A great concise history of Henry II. Very much an overview but gives you a great idea of this King's life.

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