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.
Holding power for over fifty years starting in 1327, Edward III was one of England’s most influential kings—and one who shaped the course of English history. Revered as one of the country’s most illustrious leaders for centuries, he was also a usurper and a warmonger who ordered his uncle beheaded. A brutal man, to be sure, but also a brilliant one.
Noted historian Ian Mortimer offers us the first comprehensive look at the life of Edward III. The Perfect King was often the instigator of his own drama, but also overthrew tyrannous guardians as a teenager and ushered in a period of chivalric ideals. Mortimer traces how Edward’s reforms made feudal England a thriving, sophisticated country and one of Europe’s major military powers. Ideal for anyone fascinated by medieval history, this book provides new insight into Edward III’s lasting influence on the justice system, artistic traditions, language, and architecture of the country.
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