Customer Reviews for

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

Average Rating 4
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

42 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

I love medieval history. I know that makes me weird. It's ok. O

I love medieval history. I know that makes me weird. It's ok.

Once, my father brought one of his friends up to New Hampshire to visit me. While sitting in a diner, my dad says, "Joe, ask him what he does with his free time." His friend looked at me. I told hi...
I love medieval history. I know that makes me weird. It's ok.

Once, my father brought one of his friends up to New Hampshire to visit me. While sitting in a diner, my dad says, "Joe, ask him what he does with his free time." His friend looked at me. I told him, "I study medieval and Byzantine history." The two of them exchanged a look and my dad just laughed.

It is not that my father thinks I am weird. He gets it. History is the fabric of our own existence, and the medieval world is our most neglected and possibly also most influential thread of our history.

Given an opportunity to read a book that explores the Plantagenet kings who defined what it meant to be English in the Middle Ages, of course someone interested in such history would want to read it. 

It should come as no surprise that when the opportunity came up to review The Plantagenets by Dan Jones (Penguin Group - Viking), I leapt at it. 

What can I say? Dan Jones was a great job of surveying the period from Henry II's ascension in 1154 until Henry VII's ascension in 1485. Being three hundred years makes the job of creating a readable single volume history hard enough; but when those three centuries are filled with Plantagenet intrigue, corruption, marriage, warfare, plague, and any number of other elements, the job's complexity is multiplied.

Dan Jones' prose is direct and to the point, but he takes the time to occasionally pause for a brief humanizing anecdote that helps us understand specifics a little better. He balances his views of all of the Plantagenet kings and avoids the generalized caricatures you find in many works on the period.

Most importantly, Jones does not gloss over significant events. He does not simply note, as many histories do, that the Hundred Years' War was a catalyst for the rising use of English as England pulled away from France. He takes the time to note the progress of this change, particularly focusing on Edward III's Pleading in English Act of 1362 which changed the official language of the courts of England. I have read a lot of popular histories of the Middle Ages, and Jones is the first to note this seminal event.

In brief, I found Dan Jones' book to be well worth the investment of money and time to explore it. So much of the book illuminates the seed ideas of our modern English-speaking culture. 

posted by edivietro on May 8, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Good book - makes history live

I am interested in this type of literature and have read many about the other "houses". This one covers a lot of monarchs and time. There are times when it is a bit dry but overall it is easy and fascinating to read.

posted by LToots on June 7, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted May 8, 2013

    I love medieval history. I know that makes me weird. It's ok. O

    I love medieval history. I know that makes me weird. It's ok.

    Once, my father brought one of his friends up to New Hampshire to visit me. While sitting in a diner, my dad says, "Joe, ask him what he does with his free time." His friend looked at me. I told him, "I study medieval and Byzantine history." The two of them exchanged a look and my dad just laughed.

    It is not that my father thinks I am weird. He gets it. History is the fabric of our own existence, and the medieval world is our most neglected and possibly also most influential thread of our history.

    Given an opportunity to read a book that explores the Plantagenet kings who defined what it meant to be English in the Middle Ages, of course someone interested in such history would want to read it. 

    It should come as no surprise that when the opportunity came up to review The Plantagenets by Dan Jones (Penguin Group - Viking), I leapt at it. 

    What can I say? Dan Jones was a great job of surveying the period from Henry II's ascension in 1154 until Henry VII's ascension in 1485. Being three hundred years makes the job of creating a readable single volume history hard enough; but when those three centuries are filled with Plantagenet intrigue, corruption, marriage, warfare, plague, and any number of other elements, the job's complexity is multiplied.

    Dan Jones' prose is direct and to the point, but he takes the time to occasionally pause for a brief humanizing anecdote that helps us understand specifics a little better. He balances his views of all of the Plantagenet kings and avoids the generalized caricatures you find in many works on the period.

    Most importantly, Jones does not gloss over significant events. He does not simply note, as many histories do, that the Hundred Years' War was a catalyst for the rising use of English as England pulled away from France. He takes the time to note the progress of this change, particularly focusing on Edward III's Pleading in English Act of 1362 which changed the official language of the courts of England. I have read a lot of popular histories of the Middle Ages, and Jones is the first to note this seminal event.

    In brief, I found Dan Jones' book to be well worth the investment of money and time to explore it. So much of the book illuminates the seed ideas of our modern English-speaking culture. 

    42 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Irresponsible

    To those who gave a low rating because the sample crashed on page 17 is moronic and does a disservice to the author and potential readers. Got a tech problem keep it off a review of the merits of the work itself. This book so far has been entertaining and well written I love reading about this period of English history. A 400 year real Game of thrones.

    31 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2013

    This is just to counteract every jackass who gave this book a on

    This is just to counteract every jackass who gave this book a one-star review, thus penalizing book and author for a mistake made by Barnes & Noble. If you can't figure out how to lodge a complaint correctly, and you're willing to hurt the sales of an author whose work you were, apparently, interested in, you're a loser who should just stop commenting, period. 

    22 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    A lively visit to the Middle Ages

    This history moves like a novel, but is jam packed with familiar historical figures.. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry II, Thomas Becket,to begin. Richard the Lionhearted who actually spent more time across the Channel. Richard's villainous brother John who was forced to sign the Magna Carta by nobles. Edward the Hammer who conquered Scotland. This royal family was always fighting someone... even each other. Dynastic feuds were the norm. The author is working on a follow up book covering the biggest dynastic feud of all aka the Wars of the Roses.

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I am a self proclaimed history geek.  Although my first love was

    I am a self proclaimed history geek.  Although my first love was, and always will be, Historical Fiction, over the years I have developed an intense love affair with many well written History books of the non-fiction variety.  I have said many time, on here no less, that a good Historical Fiction book should peak my interest and make me seek out factual books on the given subject to fill in the gaps and give me the "true" picture.  As a result, I am always excited when I found one of the said History books that I can not only enjoy, but recommend.  The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens who made England  by British historian Dan Jones is just such a book.   




    When it comes to history, nothing is more fascinating to me than the history of the families designated as Royalty and their nobles.  If you look throughout history, there are not many families or dynasties that you can find who would be more fascinating than the Plantagenets.  From the beginning of their rule in England in the 1100s, to the splintering of their family into the Lancasters and Yorks, and on to the takeover of England by the Tudors, the Plantagenets have had a huge affect on the history of England and Great Britain.  To me, they are the dynasty that all other Royalty, English and other, are measured by. 




    Dan Jones' book begins with the death of Henry I's son William and the demise of Norman rule in England. From there he deftly covers the history of the Plantagenet Dynasty, ending with Henry Bollingbrooke's takeover as Henry IV and the end of the reign of Richard II.  Here is a family full of heroes and heroines, crusaders, thieves, murderers.  Their lives had tragedies and triumphs.  At times they were both brilliant in their rule and careless in their mistakes, but through it all, they made England into a force to be reckoned with.  Dan Jones captures all of these events and their consequences and impacts, and he does it with a writing style that reads more like a good story than just the listing of facts and dates.  That is perhaps the best thing about this book.....it reads like a good story, not like a textbook.  I became so engrossed in the lives of the various members of this ruling family, that I would find that I had been reading for an hour or more without realizing it.  




    In the end, I enjoyed this one so much that, although I was given a free copy to read for review, I actually spent the $25.00 to buy myself a hardback copy to read and re-read at my leisure.  I can say, that almost never happens when I am given a book to read for review.   Dan Jones' book, though, is the kind of book that I can see myself enjoying more than one, while also using it as a reference on the Plantagenet Dynasty.  My only complaint was that the book ended too soon, leaving out some of the more familiar members of the family.  Although I understand the reason to stop at the point that this books ends, I am holding Dan Jones to his "promise" of  a second book to finish the tale.  I am highly anticipating this second book, and only hope that he meant what he said about writing it and that it comes out soon.  This book is highly recommended by me to anyone who is interested in the history of the ruling families of England, but of England and Great Britain itself. 




    A Huge thanks to Viking Adult and Netgalley for allowing me the privilege of reading this book in exchange for my review. 

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    This is definitely one of the best histories I have read...and I have at least three shelves (double stacked) of English history...WOW...I am going to order his previous book and will impatiently wait for his next book...

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Highly entertaining. Anyone that reads history can see the para

    Highly entertaining. Anyone that reads history can see the parallels that exist today. Power corrupts....

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Good book - makes history live

    I am interested in this type of literature and have read many about the other "houses". This one covers a lot of monarchs and time. There are times when it is a bit dry but overall it is easy and fascinating to read.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Great book!

    No problems with this book. A really good read.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Lack of Sample

    sample freezes on pg 17, after very brief intro. So unable to make decision whether to purchase.

    6 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Software bug

    The sample book freezes on page 17.

    6 out of 91 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Good but kind of boring

    I think this book was really good for what it was, I just didn't really know what it was when I bought it. It reads as a history book with absolutely no dialog. That's okay, but that means there were times when I actually feel asleep reading. I loved the overall story and hearing a more accurate version of stories like Robin Hood and William Wallace. And it seemed to get better and more detailed the more you read. Very interesting, but not compelling.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2013

    great book for $23.82 

    great book for $23.82 

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Great, engaging narrative history of Plantagenet England. The au

    Great, engaging narrative history of Plantagenet England. The author is very competent at providing detailed information about not just the monarchs and their families, but also the political dynamics within England, Scotland, Wales, France, and more. He does this without the book becoming overly complex or bogged down in unimportant details. Each monarch and many of the supporting characters comes to life and I think I have a decent understanding of what they must have been like. Most of the monarchs are some of the most compelling historical figures in English history: from Henry II and his brilliant Queen Elanor to Richard the Lionheart and King John down to the brutal efficiency of Edward I, absolute incompetence of Edward II, and triumphant mastery of Edward III, I was always entertained.

    I do have to say that, contrary to edivietro's review, the book goes from Henry II (well, even before that, but roughly) to Henry IV, not Henry VII. It follows the main branch of Plantagenets but does not cover the Wars of the Roses between the York and Lancaster factions beyond the initial upheaval and end to the main Plantagenet line with the ascension of Henry IV.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2013

    Love it!

    A great way to learn about the first royal family in England! Entertaining and educational

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2014

    Not fiction

    This book does not 'flow like fiction' as mentioned in a review below.
    It is primarily a factual recounting of how the crown was passed through one family for 250 years.
    If you are looking for a dry accounting of this period in the history of english reign, this is book is for you.

    I found it tough to get through this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2014

    I have found this to be a very enjoyable and easy reading overvi

    I have found this to be a very enjoyable and easy reading overview of the Plantagenets kings. I had some misconceptions about some fo the kings and this book brought new information into light. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    WA if you like history this is well written.

    Gave a great look at one of Englands finest period.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    I found this book to be quite an interesting, informative, and e

    I found this book to be quite an interesting, informative, and enjoyable read.  Considering that the Plantagenets were in power for for
    more than 250 years, the author, within the confines of one volume, successfully gives the reader a considerable amount detail into the
    lives and times of the various monarchs without becoming tedious and/or boring.  In fact, it reads more like a novel rather than a dull 
    book of history.  I highly recommend this book for anyone even the least bit of interested  in English medieval history.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Good English History

    This ia an excellent read for someone who is interested in English History. At times a bit wordy, but overall a pretty decent read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2