- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Amberley Publishing; 1st Edition edition (15 Oct. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1445641208
- ISBN-13: 978-1445641201
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Edward II: The Unconventional King Hardcover – 15 Oct 2014
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‘A richly detailed, compelling look at one of England’s most misunderstood kings … this is the biography of Edward II for which I have long been waiting.’ (Susan Higginbotham, author of The Woodvilles)
‘A new biography of Edward II is an important publication. … Kathryn Warner brings fresh air to the study of Edward II’s reign. … She understands the importance of the human subject beyond the evidence. … In this case the essential things to grasp are the man’s personality and his contemporary reputation: what motivated him, what frightened him, and what he perceived to be his worth to others. … Edward II’s reign will always be regarded as a failure but as a result of studies like this, there is a hope that the man who was the centre of events will emerge in all his complexity, not simply as a weak king. He had his virtues – among them his piety, his loyalty to his friends and his generosity.’ (Ian Mortimer, bestselling author of The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England)
About the Author
Kathryn Warner holds two degrees in medieval history from the University of Manchester. She is considered a foremost expert on Edward II and an article from her on the subject was published in the English Historical Review. She has run a website about him since 2005 and a Facebook page about him since 2010 and has carved out a strong online presence as an expert on Edward II and the fourteenth century in general. Kathryn teaches Business English as a foreign language and lives between Dusseldorf and Cumbria.
Ian Mortimer is the bestselling author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England.
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Top Customer Reviews
Warner's book wears its sympathies openly and honestly. I have no problem with sympathetic biographies - one only need thing of Eric Ives's take on Anne Boleyn, Amanda Foreman's on Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, or Dominic Lieven's on Tsar Nicholas II - to know that a sympathetic biography can often produce the finest scholarship, as the author is inspired to delve deeper to produce the truth about someone who they have come to admire or pity, as well as remain fascinated by. (Likewise, biographies with a more critical hue, like Leanda de Lisle's account of Lady Jane Grey or Anna Sebba's account of Wallis Simpson, can often produce gems of historical writing. The crucial component seems to be emotional honesty with the subject.)
The biography that "The Unconventional King" has most in common with, at least in terms of its tone, is Antonia Fraser's "Marie Antoinette: The Journey". Both Fraser and Warner are very clearly on their subjects' side, and while both are more than prepared to recount their mistakes and follies, they underscore the humanising, empathy-generating or admirable qualities firmly because both royals have suffered a fate that saw their historical reputation torn asunder and their reality buried beneath a hundred petty, obscuring lies.
This is a beautiful, thought-provoking and compelling life of one of England's most enigmatic kings, who emerges from the shadows as a flawed but oddly likable prince. Anyone interested in monarchy or the Middle Ages will enjoy this superb book.
Revise your opinion of this calamitous monarch with the help of Kathryn Warner's meticulously researched and beautifully written text. I loved it.
Having also read the account of king Edward's reign by Seymour Phillips (Edward II, The Chameleon King), I found strong points in both books, and if they could be amalgamated would make a terrific account of the reign. Kathryn Warner is superior on the character of Edward II as a human being, but Seymour Phillips better handles the background effects of Edward's actions. But this is a very good book for anyone wanting a detailed introduction to Edward II as a person, as well as the main characters around his court - his queen Isabella, his favourites like Piers Gaveston, Roger Damory and Hugh Despenser, or his main opponents the earls of Lancaster and Warwick and latterly Roger Mortimer. It is easy to read, and I wonder if some of Edward's famous informality have been adopted by the author, to very good effect. It is better than some of the other books covering this period of history, and the fact that it can stand comparison with the work of Seymour Phillips says much for its quality.
I believe there is another book to come from Kathryn Warner, and I will certainly want to read it when it is published.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OK. The tendency to quote the figures and each item from the court accounts became tedious and detracted from the narrative.Published 20 days ago by Louise Hunter
Very detailed and kept my attention at all the time I was reading,very good 😊 indeed.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Absolutely excellent. It gave me a new insight into this king who was so unsuited to the role into which history had placed him. Read morePublished 2 months ago by T. J. Morgan
Kathyrn Warner employs diminishing metaphors and epithets to trivialize Edward's character.These writings amount to nothing more than gossipy defamation, but who really cares,... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Topsy Fair Do's
This is excellent, but a book written by Kathryn Warner with a foreword by Ian Mortimer. It was nice to have another biography of a king who is much maligned. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tim Owston, York,
Warner tries hard to improve Edward's image. Full credit to her for that. It doesn't really work although his personal generosity comes as something of a surprise. Read morePublished 10 months ago by MR PETER A WADE
This is a must read for anybody with even the vaguest interest in Edward II. I, in common with the vast majority of people had heard the 'popular' stories about him and discounted... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Liz
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