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Archive for November 25th, 2013

Plantagenets

Earlier this year I read The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones. It was 500+ pages of super awesomeness, and I can’t wait for the second volume to come out. Agincourt! The War of the Roses! Yes!

But mostly what I learned in talking about this book is that most Americans have no idea who the Plantagenets are, but they have heard of King Richard and King John, because of Robin Hood. But there’s so much more to the Plantagenets than that!

So to start at the beginning: 1066 Quiz

Then there’s the war between Matilda (also called Maude) and Stephen after William Ætheling, grandson of William the Conqueror, died; eventually Matilda’s son Henry became king. he was famous, you might have heard of him? He married Eleanor of Aquitaine and was the father of Richard and John (and several other children). King Richard led some crusades, and King John signed the Magna Carta. On a side note, I’ve seen one of the original versions. Henry III did a lot of building projects, and his son Edward I fought wars in Wales and Scotland (that would be Edward Long Shanks in “Braveheart”). Edward II was ousted in a coup, and Edward III got down to the business of starting the Hundred Years War, ably assisted by his son, The Black Prince. Richard II became king when he was only 10 years old, had rebellions to deal with, and was eventually deposed as well. And that’s where the first book ends.

So there you go. 500 pages and approximately 280 years summed up in a paragraph. You should maybe consider reading the book if you want more details. Because honestly? The obsession with the Tudors? The Plantagenets did it all first, and they usually did it better.

Dan Jones

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