In The Restless Kings Nick Barratt presents the tumultuous struggle for supremacy between the first Plantagenet king, Henry II, and his four sons - a drama that tore apart the most powerful family in western Europe and shaped the future of two nations. Through force of arms, Henry II won an empire which was then lost by his son John.
Although the key events took place over 800 years ago, their significance still resonates today. The root causes of Brexit can be found in King John’s retreat from Europe, isolating himself in England, and the seeds of the current tensions in the Middle East were sown by Richard the Lionheart’s Crusade against the infidels in the Holy Land.
We also learn about some of the most powerful women of the medieval period, formidable and canny politicians in their own right who outlived their spouses and children.
The Restless Kings will challenge everything you assumed you knew about the medieval world. Above all, it brings to life some of the most remarkable, complex, flawed and brilliant monarchs ever to have sat on the English throne.
|Publisher:||Faber and Faber|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
There was an eagle painted, and four young ones of the eagle perched upon it, tearing at the parent with talons and beaks. When some of the King’s close friends asked him the meaning of the picture, he said, 'The four young ones of the eagle are my four sons, who will not cease persecuting me even unto death. And the youngest, whom I now embrace with such tender affection, will someday afflict me more grievously and more perilously than all the others.
Table of Contents
The Angevin and Capetian dynasties viii
Territories ruled by Henry II and his family xi
List of illustrations xiii
1 The rise of the Angevins 17
2 The struggle for authority 59
3 A family at war 116
4 The loss of Normandy 179
5 The road to Runnymede 233
Further reading 297