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The Gothic King - a Biography of Henry III Paperback – 20 Apr 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Ltd; First edition (20 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720614805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720614800
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This is a pretty concise examination of Henry s life, and I occasionally got lost in the blur of squabbling barons, but as a primer to his rule, it s a most enjoyable, and long overdue, work. --The Crack magazine

In The Gothic King: A Biography of Henry III, John Paul Davis brings one of England s most obscure monarchs to life. --The Medieval Book Reviews

About the Author

Still only in his twenties, JOHN PAUL DAVIS is rapidly establishing a following as a popular historian, with accessible and innovative biographies of familiar English figures. He was a consultant on The Alan Titchmarsh Show during their Guy Fawkes Night special and is a regular contributor to radio and T.V. history programmes


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
You don't often find much written specifically about King Henry III of England. David Carpenter's great work on Henry, The Reign of Henry III is a scholarly and thematic treatment, and Powicke's scholarly works are rather old and possibly harder to source nowadays for an interested general reader. King Henry III seems to drift along in biographical terms somewhere peripheral to his father King John, his son King Edward I, and his greatest protagonist, his brother-in-law Simon de Montfort. The period of his life and reign continue to afford much interest, and given that he lived a long life (1207-1272), for much of which he was King after the death of his father in 1216, he surely deserves to be considered in his own right. So it was good to see this newly released `popular' biography of this important, yet often overlooked man.

The author has taken pains to offer Henry's life (65 years) and reign (56 years) in a chronological approach, which makes this work very accessible to someone who may not have much knowledge of the period. The writing is straightforward and engaging, and Henry's life and rule are certainly interesting enough to capture the reader's interest. There is a good bibliography offering many current works for anyone who would like to pursue topics further. This is a really good popular history book and should make welcome reading to anyone interested in Henry III's life and times.

This book pairs well with the new biography of Eleanor de Montfort by Louise Wilkinsons, as well.
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I haven't come across a biography of Henry III before and the author gives a good overview of his reign including the parlous state that his father king John had left the country in and gives a good account of England in the thirteenth century. Not a quick read but one that I found repaid careful study and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the period.
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Format: Paperback
I am relativley new to the field of mediaeval history having only read some of Ian Mortimer's excellent works (A Perfect King et al). It's amazing that Henry III's reign is so little known considering his longevity as monarch and the turbulent times he ruled. This book seems well researched and pretty detailed. It's not as easy to read as Mortimer's work, the narrative style is not quite as engaging. I do think it could do with a bit more analysis of the facts rather than just straight reporting of them and some maps and family trees would not go astray. Another minor criticism is the author's habit for changing the way he refers to prominent characters, this did confuse me a bit and had me thumbing back pages on occasion. But overall I enjoyed reading it and feel considerably enlightened about the life and times of Henry III.
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I enjoyed reading this book as I'm researching the period as I'm writing a novel based on it. I felt it lacked the detail of many other books - I found out a lot about him that this book didn't cover. The analysis is quite general but it makes an excellent introduction to a particularly stormy period in English history with as much excitement and intrigue (possibly more!) than the rather overcooked Tudor period.
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very interesting book which gives all the information in an easy to read narrative. it is quite a thick book and i was surprised i read it so quickly and disappointed that henry died and the book ended. really good read. recommended to all
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This book is a fascinating read about a king who is often forgotten, yet who ruled for a very long time. He may not have been the most successful but he ruled for 56 years and this speaks volumes about his abilities. I believe that he should be remembered for his merits and the things he did - he was an inveterate builder, for instance - rather than for whose son or father he was. Yes, he was the son of the "Bad King John" and the father of Edward I aka "the Hammer of the Scots", yet Henry III deserves to be remembered for who he was. John Paul Davis takes you on a journey through Henry's life, giving you details about his private life, reign, building projects and, most importantly, rebellions he had to deal with. This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves history.
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This is an outstanding book on a subject that has a paucity of coverage. Well written and an easy read. Highly recommended.
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