The talented, confident, and intelligent son of John of Gaunt, Henry IV started his reign as a popular and charismatic king after he dethroned the tyrannical and wildly unpopular Richard II. But six years into his reign, Henry had survived eight assassination and overthrow attempts. Having broken God’s law of primogeniture by overthrowing the man many people saw as the chosen king, Henry IV left himself vulnerable to challenges from powerful enemies about the validity of his reign. Even so, Henry managed to establish the new Lancastrian dynasty and a new rule of law—in highly turbulent times.
In this book, noted historian Ian Mortimer, author of The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan London, explores the political and social forces that transformed Henry IV from his nation’s savior to its scourge.
This insightful look at the life of Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt casts new light on a period in history often held up as legend. A great English hero, Henry V was lionized by Shakespeare and revered by his countrymen for his religious commitment, his sense of justice, and his military victories. Here, noted historian and biographer Ian Mortimer takes a look at the man behind the legend and offers a clear, historically accurate, and realistic representation of a ruler who was all too human.
Mortimer digs up fascinating details about Henry V’s reign that have been lost to history, including the brutal strategies he adopted at the Battle of Agincourt. A fascinating look at the life of an iconic English king—ideal for students of medieval history.
Is history absolute? Is writing about the past an exact science, or is it more of a nebulous discipline open to different interpretations and points of view? These are important questions that noted historian Ian Mortimer says all serious writers of history must reflect on.
This new collection explores those ideas, providing an analysis on how the immensity of chronicling the past lends itself to a wide variety of audiences and contexts. Mortimer teaches that the purpose of history goes beyond simply relaying events of yesterday—it is about finding the meaning and conveying it to living and future generations. It is up to the audience to determine what history means to them, and it is up to the historian—or historical fiction writer—to determine what is and what isn’t history.What Isn’t History? collects together for the first time the selected articles and speeches on writing history and historical fiction from Ian Mortimer, the bestselling author of The Time Travelers Guide to Medieval England and the Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England.
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