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on 31 March 2014
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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on 13 July 2014
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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on 16 August 2017
Not read all of it but I've really enjoyed it so far. I really like JPD's writing style as he keeps to the facts and doesn't meander like other historians by offering opinion after opinion. For someone like me looking to get a real good grasp of events from the Middle Ages, this is one of the few books that's kept to the point and he's realised his subject is interesting enough without dressing it up.
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on 7 May 2013
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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on 27 May 2013
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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on 18 July 2014
This book slightly disappoints as it is rather thin for a very lond reign so detail is rather lacking. Henry III atill awaits an in depth modern study which is sympathetic to this interesting king.
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on 19 January 2014
This was a good read, and the writer had clearly done his homework. Some maps would have helped, and perhaps a slightly more thematic approach at times, but it's clearly the best in the field at present.
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on 1 March 2017
I suppose I am glad that I struggled through to the end, because the final chapter (In History and in Memory) is the most interesting. Until then, the author mostly does what he intended, which was to go through Henry's life in chronological order, but the result is a shopping list of a book. I had expected to get some sort of feel for the personality or character of the king (or at least the author's opinion of it), but all I came away with was an impression of lots of stuff having happened during those 65 years. I would have been interested if it made a clear case that Henry was ineffectual, or influential, or badly advised, or anything. But I couldn't see much pattern, beyond Popes demanding money and Barons repeatedly rebelling. However, the book does contain a lot of information. I hope someone reworks it, and suspect the result could be a much more interesting and informative read.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 August 2013
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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 6 April 2016
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 Wilkinson, as well.
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