Richard II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: Laura Ashe

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141979909

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 144

View: 5890


Richard II (1377-99) came to the throne as a child, following the long, domineering, martial reign of his grandfather Edward III. He suffered from the disastrous combination of a most exalted sense of his own power and an inability to impress that power on those closest to the throne. Neither trusted nor feared, Richard battled with a whole series of failures and emergencies before finally succumbing to a coup, imprisonment and murder. Laura Ashe's brilliant account of his reign emphasizes the strange gap between Richard's personal incapacity and the amazing cultural legacy of his reign - from the Wilton Diptych to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman and The Canterbury Tales.

Henry II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: Richard Barber

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141977094

Category: History

Page: 244

View: 542


Henry II (1154-89) through a series of astonishing dynastic coups became the ruler of an enormous European empire. One of the most dynamic, restless and clever men ever to rule England, he was brought down both by his catastrophic relationship with his archbishop Thomas Becket and his debilitating arguments with his sons, most importantly the future Richard I and King John. His empire may have ultimately collapsed, but in Richard Barber's vivid and sympathetic account the reader can see why Henry II left such a compelling impression on his contemporaries.

Edward II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: Christopher Given-Wilson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141977973

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 2927


'He seems to have laboured under an almost child-like misapprehension about the size of his world. Had greatness not been thrust upon him, he might have lived a life of great harmlessness.' The reign of Edward II was a succession of disasters. Unkingly, inept in war, and in thrall to favourites, he preferred digging ditches and rowing boats to the tedium of government. His infatuation with a young Gascon nobleman, Piers Gaveston, alienated even the most natural supporters of the crown. Hoping to lay the ghost of his soldierly father, Edward I, he invaded Scotland and suffered catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn. After twenty ruinous years, betrayed and abandoned by most of his nobles and by his wife and her lover, Edward was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle and murdered - the first English king since the Norman Conquest to be deposed.

Elizabeth II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: Douglas Hurd

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141979429

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 160

View: 9370


In September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest-reigning monarch. During her long lifetime Britain and the world have changed beyond recognition, yet throughout she has stood steadfast as a lasting emblem of stability, continuity and public service. Historian and senior politician Douglas Hurd has seen the Queen at close quarters, as Home Secretary and then on overseas expeditions as Foreign Secretary. Here he considers the life and role of Britain's most greatly admired monarch, who, inheriting a deep sense of duty from her father George VI, has weathered national and family crises, seen the end of an Empire and heard voices raised in favour of the break-up of the United Kingdom. Hurd creates an arresting portrait of a woman deeply conservative by nature yet possessing a ready acceptance of modern life and the awareness that, for things to stay the same, they must change. With a preface by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

William II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: John Gillingham

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141978562

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 9914


William II (1087-1100), or William Rufus, will always be most famous for his death: killed by an arrow while out hunting, perhaps through accident or perhaps murder. But, as John Gillingham makes clear in this elegant book, as the son and successor to William the Conqueror it was William Rufus who had to establish permanent Norman rule. A ruthless, irascible man, he frequently argued acrimoniously with his older brother Robert over their father's inheritance - but he also handed out effective justice, leaving as his legacy one of the most extraordinary of all medieval buildings, Westminster Hall.

George II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: Norman Davies

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141978430

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 7273


From the celebrated historian and author of Europe: A History, a new life of George II George II, King of Great Britain and Ireland and Elector of Hanover, came to Britain for the first time when he was thirty-one. He had a terrible relationship with his father, George I, which was later paralleled by his relationship to his own son. He was short-tempered and uncultivated, but in his twenty-three-year reign he presided over a great flourishing in his adoptive country - economic, military and cultural - all described with characteristic wit and elegance by Norman Davies. (George II so admired the Hallelujah chorus in Handel's Messiah that he stood while it was being performed - as modern audiences still do.) Much of his attention remained in Hanover and on continental politics, as a result of which he was the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle, at Dettingen in 1744.

James II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: David Womersley

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141977078

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 244

View: 8872


The short, action-packed reign of James II (1685-88) is generally seen as one of the most catastrophic in British history. James managed, despite having access to tremendous reserves of good will and deference, to so alienate his supporters that he had to flee for his life. And yet, most of that life was spent not as king but first as heir to Charles II, as Duke of York (after whom New York is named) and then in the last part of his life as the first Jacobite 'Pretender', starting a problem that would haunt Britain's rulers for generations.

Charles II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: Clare Jackson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141979771

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 144

View: 1587


Charles II has always been one of the most instantly recognisable British kings - both in his physical appearance, disseminated through endless portraits, prints and pub signs, and in his complicated mix of lasciviousness, cynicism and luxury. His father's execution and his own many years of exile made him a guarded, curious, unusually self-conscious ruler. He lived through some of the most striking events in the national history - from the Civil Wars to the Great Plague, from the Fire of London to the wars with the Dutch. Clare Jackson's marvellous book takes full advantage of its irrepressible subject.

William III & Mary II (Penguin Monarchs)

Author: Jonathan Keates

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141976888

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 112

View: 9783


William III (1689-1702) & Mary II (1689-94) (Britain's only ever 'joint monarchs') changed the course of the entire country's history, coming to power through a coup (which involved Mary betraying her own father), reestablishing parliament on a new footing and, through commiting Britain to fighting France, initiating an immensely long period of warfare and colonial expansion. Jonathan Keates' wonderful book makes both monarchs vivid, the cold, shrewd 'Dutch' William and the shortlived Mary, whose life and death inspired Purcell to write some of his greatest music.

Richard II

Author: Laura Ashe

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 0141979895

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 0

View: 3724


Richard II (1377-99) came to the throne as a child, following the long, domineering, martial reign of his grandfather Edward III. He suffered from the disastrous combination of a most exalted sense of his own power and an inability to impress that power on those closest to the throne. Neither trusted nor feared, Richard battled with a whole series of failures and emergencies before finally succumbing to a coup, imprisonment and murder. Laura Ashe's brilliant account of his reign emphasizes the strange gap between Richard's personal incapacity and the amazing cultural legacy of his reign - from the Wilton Diptych to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman and The Canterbury Tales.