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The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217 (General Military)
 
 

The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217 (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Richard Brooks
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In 1217 England was facing her darkest hour, with foreign troops pillaging the country and defeat close at hand. But, at the battle of Lincoln, the seventy-year-old William Marshal led his men to a victory that would secure the future of his nation. Earl of Pembroke, right-hand man to three kings and regent for a fourth, Marshal was one of the most celebrated men in Europe, yet is virtually unknown today, his impact and influence largely forgotten. In this vivid account, Richard Brooks blends colourful contemporary source material with new insights to uncover the tale of this unheralded icon. He traces the rise of Marshal from penniless younger son to renowned knight, national hero and defender of the Magna Carta. What emerges is a fascinating story of a man negotiating the brutal realities of medieval warfare and the conflicting demands of chivalric ideals, and who against the odds defeated the joint French and rebel forces in arguably the most important battle in medieval English history - overshadowing even Agincourt.

About the Author

Richard Brooks is a freelance military historian with a particular interest in the intersection of naval and military history, and the use of hitherto untapped sources to develop fresh insights into past campaigns. Richard has published seven books, beginning with a biography of Fred T. Jane, the founder of Jane s Fighting Ships. His other books have covered naval brigades, the Royal Marines, and battlefields of Britain and Ireland; previous books for Osprey include Solferino 1859 (2009) and Walcheren 1944 (2011). He was also Consultant Editor for The Times History of War (HarperCollins, 2000). He has a BA in Modern History from Oxford University and an MSc in International Relations from Southampton. He lives in Southsea, England.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 26262 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J4ICTOY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,078 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting tale, well told 25 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read many reviews about this book particularly by readers who mistakenly thought this was a work of fiction (!) or felt the prose was too academic or that there were too many statistics. These did not deter me however and I am glad that I purchased this title.

I like many others have a very imperfect understanding about the origins or Magna Carta, King John and the Barons' Revolt, and this title seemed like a modern take on the events leading up to that significant event as seen through the eyes of one of the major, if little known, protagonists, William the Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. This person first came to my notice in Ridley Scott's 2010 take on the legend of Robin Hood. In this film, the Marshall is ably plaid by William Hurt but very little is known about his exciting earlier life as a Knight Errant, a jousting champion and a winner on the international tournament scene.

Brooks' biography does a sterling job in bringing this man to life by detailing the context and events of the time when the Marshall lived. This work does tend to rely quite heavily on the "History" and other contemporary sources but as the author makes clear on numerous occasions, very little of the Marshall's life has come down to us. I found the author's evaluation of sources to be balanced, and his interpretation and analysis of characters and events to be lively. Brooks is also critical of previous modern day interpretations and outlines his proofs in a logical fashion. I found the prose easy to follow and yes there are a lot of statistics than most would find in a coffee table work of history but I found that rather than detracting from the story, the tables of data actually enhances the understanding of the Marshall and helped to bring him to life.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
William Marshal lived during an incredibly important time for English history and got involved in the majority of all the big events that happened; the creation of Magna Carta, acting as Regent to the new child King Henry III following the death of John, besieging countless castles and battling the French during their invasion in the early 13th century, when he was already at an age when most of his Medieval peers had long since passed on.

This was all after distinguished career as a tournament knight, traveling around the country winning numerous jousting battles and generally living the high life. He was a busy man!

I'm a big fan of National Trust / English Heritage type properties, and many are mentioned through the course of the book i.e. William lived in Chepstow & Pembroke Castles, fought the French at Dover & Lincoln Castles, and also spent time living in various sites Ireland. Its great to read about he real history which shaped many of the places we visit as tourist attractions today.

Richard Brooks has obviously done his research and his analysis of the life of 'The Marshal' is well written and flows along nicely throughout, which you would expect as the material & his deeds pretty much speak for themselves because of how historically relevant it all is. Recommended.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book, highly recommended 23 April 2014
Format:Paperback
Richard Brooks is a free lance military historian with a reputation for writing analytical military history based on fresh research of original sources. One of his previous books, The Battlefields of Britain and Ireland, is considered the definitive work on the subject. His biography on Fred Jane (founder of Jane’s Fighting Ships and the Fred Jane Naval Wargame) is recognised as outstanding. Therefore, I was very interested when I heard about his new book by Osprey.

This book covers one of the lesser known heroes of the medieval world, William Marshal. He was a right hand man for three kings and the regent for a 4th. He was loyal to kings, respected by practically all, a fearsome knight at tournaments and a formidable general. His achievement in preserving England as a separate country is important today.

Based in part on The History of William Marshal, the first biography of a non-royal layman in medieval times, the work weaves a complex and detailed tale about the life and time of William Marshal. It covers the tournaments, the intrigue and politics, populated by accounts of the sieges and battles.

There are a number of factors that (to me) make Brooks’s style so interesting. One is his ability to bring together discussion of competing historical sources. Some historians simply state this is what happened, but Brooks outlines if there are different views before giving a reasoned decision which account he deems most likely. Another aspect is the narrative is interspersed with detailed analytical work on the technical aspects of early medieval warfare. Brook’s wider military knowledge is used to place this in a more general context, such as the analysis of the rate of march set against that achieved by armies from other periods of military history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Upgader
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This period of the Middle Ages was not one I had read about before and is fascinating. I never realised before how close England came to being a province of the then developing French nation! Nor had I heard of William Marshall before : surely one of the most under reported 'game changers' in our tumultuous history. Mr Brooks is obviously a military historian and there is much detail of medieval military tactics and equipment in this book as well as the key point history of the Angevin monarchy : Henry II, Richard I, John and the early years of Henry III's reign as William Marshall's life spanned all of this eventful period. I mark the book down a little simply because the author in my view assumes too much historical knowledge of the period from the reader as he sweeps back and forth to examine the key events in detail. However I am still pleased to have read the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting and informative study of a little known period.
Published 2 hours ago by M. E. Waller
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the more specialist reader
Fine if you are already familiar with this period of English history, but includes too many obscure references to events and people likely to be unknown to the general reader... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Roger
4.0 out of 5 stars The Saviour of England?
A fascinating insight into a most important part of British history. I have a passing interest in this period (time in memoriam anyone? Read more
Published 17 days ago by I Know My Place
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
well constructed and written
Published 21 days ago by Makemineadouble
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information & good insight to those times
Lots of information & good insight to those times. Best to read daytime - You have to keep concentrating on all that info! Don't read at night!
Published 24 days ago by B. Fowler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A glimpse of a nation as yet ununited
Published 25 days ago by robert simonjones
5.0 out of 5 stars William Marshal, the Knight Who Saved England
I particularly like this book (which I haven't yet finished) because I'm very interested in the history of this time. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Vivienne Chandler
3.0 out of 5 stars Good military history
Good military history but slightly under-referenced - the author refers to some relevant but perhaps rather out-of-date archaeological work but I was unable to check because the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by interested bystander
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book really enjoyed it
Published 1 month ago by anita mary lucas
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite dry!!
This could be given the Bernard Cornwell / Conn Igulden treatment to become a fantastic tale!!!
Published 1 month ago by Tricky Micky
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