Top critical review
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.