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The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217 (General Military) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
I prefer history to historical fiction, and this book makes no attempt to be fiction. It certainly does cover many other contemporary persons and events, but in a relevant and historical way. I probably learned nothing really new to me about his life, that I had not discoverd from previous reading. However the relief of Lincoln Castle in the 2nd Battle of Lincoln was covered in far more detail than I was aware of. Sir William was 70 when he led the final charge on horseback.
His career as a jouster, soldier, Crusader, politician and loyal supporter of 5 consecutive kings of England, including being Protector of the young Henry III, and closely involved in the development of Magna Carta, made him one of the greatest Englishmen of the Middle Ages.
He was the only man who unseated Richard Coeur de Lion, in defense of the Old King (Henry II). On the Lion Heart's Accession to the throne he was accused of trying to kill Prince Richard previously.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a highly informative read, which gave insight to a person who history seems to have passed by. Though not an easy read it's well worth the spent reading. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chris Pearson
Interesting tale about a now largely forgotten figure in the history of England. A remarkable man who led a fascinating life and helped to shape the country.Published 3 months ago by Steve Hewitt
Am still reading this book and what an excellent true story it is. Remember William Marshal in Russel Crowe "Robin Hood" well this is his true life and what fine life he... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
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