Start reading Blood Cries Afar: The Forgotten Invasion of England 1216 on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Blood Cries Afar: The Forgotten Invasion of England 1216 [Kindle Edition]

Sean McGlynn
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
Kindle Price: £7.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £7.20 (48%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £7.79  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £14.99  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

150 years after the Norman Conquest, history came within a hair's breadth of repeating itself. In 1216, taking advantage of the turmoil created in England by King John's inept rule, Prince Louis of France invaded England and allied with English rebels. The prize was the crown of England. Within months Louis had seized control of one-third of the country, including London. This is the first book to cover the bloody events of the invasion, one of the most dramatic but most overlooked episodes of British history. The text vividly describes the campaigns, sieges, battles and atrocities of teh invasion and its colourful leaders - Louis the Lion, King John, William Marshal, and the mercenaries Fawkes de Beaute and Eustace the Monk - to offer the first detailed military analysis of this epic struggle for England.

Product Description


A full and well-researched narrative … makes for a powerful and gripping read showing a mastery of the sources…. [McGlynn] keeps the reader turning the pages. Moreover he has plenty of good vignettes to offer. Few readers will forget the colourful character William of Kensham, nicknamed Willikin of the Weald…who may have provided inspiration for the Robin Hood stories. A lively and wide-ranging study. --Nigel Saul- History Today

This book provides a highly readable and well-researched narrative of the events of a crucial and dramatic period. --Michael Prestwich- Times Literary Supplement

McGlynn tells a dashing story with gusto...This is an entertaining military history of a very exciting reign. --Dan Jones- The Spectator

About the Author

Sean McGlynn is the author of the acclaimed By Sword and Fire: Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare, which is published in four languages. He is a regular contributor to books and authoritative reference works, as well as to history magazines and academic journals such as BBC History, History Today, History and English Historical Review. He has studied and researched at King's College London, London School of Economics and Cardiff University. He has lectured in History at the universities of Bristol and of Bath, and currently lectures for the University of Plymouth at Strode College and the Open University.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3741 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (31 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AZ17TLW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #301,877 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A comprehensive account from one of the leading historians in the field, suitable for both students and those with an interest in the time period. This book is easy to read (unlike many books in this genre), well informed, well researched and perceptive. I couldnt recommend this book enough, for students this is a comprehensive account of the period, covering events both nationally and internationally, easy to use and above all enjoyable, for those with an interest in the history of the period, a very enjoyable read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and entertaining 15 Oct. 2012
Exactly 150 years after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, history came extremely close to repeating itself when another army set sail from the Continent with the intention of imposing foreign rule on England. This time the invasion force was under the command of Louis the Lion, son and heir of the powerful French king Philip Augustus.

So writes Sean McGlynn in his thorough and detailed account of the campaign which followed King John's repudiation of the terms of Magna Carta. The book offers a comprehensive grounding in the causes of the invasion, examining the roots of the Angevin-Capetian struggle, the loss of Normandy at the beginning of the 13th century and the political machinations of the French and English kings.

The campaign itself is described and analysed in depth, with particular attention being devoted to the large-scale engagements at Dover, Winchester, Rochester and Lincoln, and the naval battle off the coast of Sandwich. The principal characters step off the pages: John, ineffectual but supported by the mighty William Marshal; Louis, the bold warrior with a machiavellian father scheming in the background; and the vacillating barons switching their allegiance back and forth.

McGlynn makes use of a wide range of contemporary sources written by supporters of both sides, and manipulates their often conflicting accounts expertly. His style is concise and pithy, with occasional flourishes of wit which enhance the narrative but do not distract the reader from it, as when he takes W. L. Warren's famous description of John as a man who `could not resist the temptation to kick a man when he was down' and adds that John `could not even keep his balance while doing so.'

This work is highly recommended for the academic or general reader who wishes to know more about this crucial but under-studied campaign.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
After reading Sean's McGlynn's acclaimed "By Sword and Fire: Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare" (2008) and thoroughly enjoying it, I eagerly ordered his next book "Blood Cries Afar: The Forgotten Invasion of England 1216". To be honest I knew very little about these times. In fact I didn't even know, or was even taught at school, that England had even been invaded by France. I knew, of course, that England had been visited forcibly by the Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings etc in our glorious past, but nothing about France's attempted conquest in 1216.

Before we get to 1216 McGlynn gives us some background to the lead up to France's invasion. The Book's first chapter "Enemies: The Angevin-Capetain Struggle" starts off with Henry II; "When, at the age of 21, the young Henry Plantagenet ascended the throne of England in December 1154, he established a new royal dynasty, the fame of which ensured its name would echo through the ages." Henry II, whose reign ends in defeat and humiliation, is followed by Richard I and then John. This chapter is followed by "The Conquest of Normandy 1200-1204," War, Politics and the First Invasion Attempt, 1205-1213," "The Battle of Bouvines, 1214," "Magna Carta, Civil War and the Countdown to Invasion, 1215" until finally being followed by "The Invasion of England, 1216" the crux of the book. All the while the focus is on the exciting events of the time - sieges, campaigns and battles - and the colourful characters that played their part in events.

English barons rebelled in 1215 in the First Barons War against the King of England John, who was detested by his subjects. In an attempt to overthrow King John talks were opened by John's dissenters with Prince Louis.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well articulated history that reads like a novel 3 Feb. 2012
For those interested in the political and military upheaval in England and France during the early 13th century, 'Blood Cries Afar' hits the mark. This book is very well researched and documented; based on primary and secondary sources, viewed through the lens of the historian/author's extensive experience. McGlynn's book also has the rather rare advantage of being an enjoyable and flowing read.

'Blood Cries Afar' has all of the elements of an exciting story, including a cast of characters known to most of us: King Richard the Lionheart, King John Lack-land (of Robin Hoood fame), and of course King Philip August (hailed by the French as the King who regained France for the French). It has enticing settings throughout England, Normandy and the Loire-area of France, along with thoroughly exciting accounts of seiges and the political struggles between the opposing kings.

As a student of 12th and 13th century, European history, I found this work to be a worthwhile reference book and an enjoyable read at the coffee shop. It has inspired me to go to France this summer, to see and experience these amazing places for myself, with McGlynn's book in hand. I highly recommend it!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The forgotten invasion of England
I found this an informative book on the subject. I must admit that I had not heard about this invasion before and found the book to be a very good introduction to the subject.
Published 2 months ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by prof paul
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating study of a little-known episode
It is surprising that so little has been written on the invasion of England in 1216 which came close to putting a French king on the English throne. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Will Strange
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but not perfect
This is a little known period of history to most and I was pleased to find that McGlynn covers it so thoroughly. As he makes clear, and justifies, this is a military history. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Peter J. Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad King John and his come uppance.
Most are familiar with 1215 and Magna Carta, however this is riveting stuff about what the barons did next. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Theodore
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Cries Afar
I enjoy medieval history, but there`s so much we dont know. How many people know about the French Ivasion of 1216 as opposed to the Norman Conquest of 1066. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars An Extended Doctoral Thesis (Littered wiith Grammatical and Spelling...
I bought this book because I am trying to broaden my historic knowledge from my more usual area (Tudor and Stuart) to gain a better understanding of England's Royal History over... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Hank Norville Carter
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I exp[ected
I am a general British history reader, reading anything from the fifth century up to and including the Second World War. Read more
Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by Glyndwr ap Dewi ap Iams
5.0 out of 5 stars Son Loved It
Bought as a present for my 'history' buff son as it included the 'Battle of Lincoln'.
He was 'dead chuffed' with the coverage of this event - the best he has found to date.
Published on 22 Nov. 2012 by Reg
5.0 out of 5 stars "Popular History" at its best or a thesis adapted for the "general...
I am not quite sure how to qualify and categorize this book, as the title I have given to this review tends to indicate. Read more
Published on 13 Jun. 2012 by JPS
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category