The Plantagenets

The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

Jones, Dan

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Plantagenets
The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this history, Jones resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world.

Publisher: New York : Viking, ©2012.
ISBN: 0670026654
Characteristics: xxv, 534 pages, [8] pages of plates :,illustrations, maps ;,25 cm


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Mar 17, 2015
  • DorisWaggoner rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Reads like a saga of a highly dysfunctional, power mad family. Yet Jones's goal is much more than that of the chronicler of a family dynasty, as he charts the growth of England politically, militarily, and economically over the course of about 250 years. Over that time, England grew from a fragile fiefdom "belonging" to whatever king could hold it to a polity where the King and Crown were separate entities. The failure of King John at Magna Carta in 1215 was a stumbling first step toward the development of constitutional monarchy, where king and parliament considered the good of the realm together. That's in the ideal, of course, and there were many slips, of greed, irresponsibility, mental illness, as well as the effects of kings who came to the throne too young, without wise, disinterested advisers. An incredible read. I've got "The Wars of the Roses" on hold.

Jan 04, 2014
  • sess430 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

If you enjoy reading engaging accounts of England's kings, then you'll like this book covering the first 250 years of the early rulers following the rule of William the Conqueror. It describes many battles with the French & Scots, dysfunctional family squabbles, struggles over succession, the Magna Carta and much more. I finished reading it right when the local PBS station aired the 3-part series titled: "She Wolves: England's Early Queens." I really enjoyed the part about 3 of the queens described in the book: Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Isabella.

Jan 01, 2014
  • coly rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My favourite book for 2013, and I prefer fiction. Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up. Well written in contemporary english, captivating from page one. Looking forward to Jones' next book about the war of the roses.


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