Medieval Intrigue: Decoding Royal Conspiracies Hardcover – 16 Sep 2010
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Ian Mortimer has earned a well-deserved reputation as a writer capable of communicating the fascination of medieval history … His speciality is the peculiar and the personal: the hidden springs by which the actions of the past were moved … he still has much to communicate about his explorations of the forgotten corners of Medieval England. --BBC History Magazine
'It is good that Mortimer is trying to come up with answers and his book provides much food for thought. There is a fine mind at work here.' --Catholic Herald
About the Author
Ian Mortimer is the author of the bestselling The Time-Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, a series of four medieval historical biographies and a revolutionary study of medicine in early modern England. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (by whom he was awarded the Alexander Prize in 2004) and a qualified archivist
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Top customer reviews
It has to be admitted that this is not going to appeal to the casual reader because it assumes too much prior knowledge. The author expects that the reader will already know the background to e.g. the death/murder of Edward II to appreciate his reasons why alternative readings of events can be outlined. The first chapter outlines the Information based approach that Dr Mortimer is using and I found that once I had fully taken this in, then the individual chapters became really exciting and thought provoking.
I cannot however recommend this book to readers of his other studies of the period for the following reason. I agree with the reviewer who has pointed out that the cover is rather misleading because it does tend to obscure the serious nature of the study: one chapter actually being devoted to arguing with specific critiques of the author's view that Edward II was not murdered in Berkeley Castle. After much thought I am still concerned by its marketing and am taking a star off the review for this reason. It is fair to say that this very serious study is being marketed in a way that will attract all the readers that were entranced by Dr Mortimers' other books on the period and that is unreasonable because it is not going to appeal in such a general way - in my opinion.
It is absolutely fascinating stuff but extremely hard going because it falls into the serious history arena. This is without doubt a tour de force as a study but again, the publishers are misleading us.
This book contains ground-breaking research. On some things, Mortimer goes back to touch on again (for example the Death of Edward II). On others, he is presenting new evidence and histories of various topics (one being the concept of the pretender. I found all of this very intersting. I won't say its all easy to comprehend-you might have to reread the first chapter to take it all in, but nonetheless you will fing many thought provoking histories in this book. Central is Mortimer's scientific theory that helps determine what can be considered fact and what can't
This book, for all its scholarship, is a great tool for historians and for history buffs. It's not an easy read-on the contrary, Mortimer himself has stated it is very hard-core history. However, that does nothing to jeperdise Mortimer's historiacl reputation. If anything, this book enriches it, for here is Ian Mortimer's answers to the scholars and academics who have questioned him for so long.
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Not a book for the casual reader, you really have to know the topics tackled to appreciate Ian Mortimer's work.Read more
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