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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 January 2015
This book is an excellent fact filled read but at the same time not just a list of facts and dates for the "serious" historian. This book gets inside the lives and personalities of the plantagenets and their relationships with family and followers. While being educational this book is also a very entertaining read.
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on 10 June 2014
A fast-paced, factual story of the time of England under the Plantagenet monarchs. A thoroughly enjoyable read that takes you through the good and the bad of England's greatest kings. Dan Jones provides a great analysis of the characters and events of each reign in a chronological narrative. A book that will appeal to those new to English history, or to someone wanting to brush up on their Plantagenet kings. I can highly recommend this wonderful tome.
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on 16 December 2013
Dan Jones gives us a fast paced sweep through the brutal kingships of one dynasty stretching over three centuries.
Rather like Tom Holland he brings history to life and maintains good scholarship throughout. One is reminded that power corrupts
and despite good intentions, the amount of power concentrated in the hands of these kings inevitably caused many of them to overreach themselves and self-destruct. It is easy to see how gradually since those days we are left with a tamed monarchy which
is decorative rather than tyrannical.
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on 14 September 2014
Absolutely brilliant. If only all history books could be as well written as this one. Made the period and the characters come alive. The author succeeds in telling the story of the Plantagenet dynasty in a straightfoward and vivid fashion.The pages flew by as I was impelled to find out what happened next. Heartily recommended.
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on 20 July 2013
The Plantagenets is a very readable, comprehensive account of the reign of the Plantagenet kings from Henry II (1154 AD) to Richard II (1399 AD). It is a large book but the text is of a reasonable size and it is written in a clear and concise style with lots of short individually titled chapters. In many ways this book is a history of medieval England, taking you from the last Norman kings to about the middle of the Hundred Years War. Despite its size though it never feels like a slog to get through, it is a joy to read from cover to cover or just to dip into as a reference.

Dan Jones notably refrains from making personal comments or judgements on the history he describes which allows the narrative to flow and lets him cover a longer period than he might otherwise have dealt with. I would have liked to have read more about how society changed during the period described but that sort of detail would have made the book too large for just one volume. The focus is on the Kings themselves not the common people, and the struggle between the power of the king, the church and the great Lords of England does make fascinating reading.

Admittedly for the historian there is not much here that is new. There is no new evidence or arguement about the narrative history described. But the book still has great value as a reference summarizing the whole of the Plantagenet period in just one volume.

I would highly reccomend this book for anyone interested in Medieval history. In fact it makes a great starting point for anyone thinking of studying the period either for fun or as part of a qualification in medieval history. You can explore individual aspects in more detail elsewhere but you are unlikely to come across a book that ties it all together in such a readable fashion.
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on 14 December 2014
Really engossing. The Plantagents was easy to read. I am interested in History but I did not expect this book to enthrall like a novel, Dan Jones tells his story with a light but serious touch. I would recommend this book anyone who is interested in England.
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on 24 March 2015
The book is very good and the stories are interesting. I like the fact that the chapters are small and informative, it makes it easier to read and more exciting. It is one of my favorite Medieval history book.
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on 20 March 2015
Very interesting book so far - An area of history I have neglected. Not much has changed really - Royals/Nobles get the land etc, bicker between themselves and the peasants suffer the consequences.. Happy Days?
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on 5 July 2014
Having a great interest in the Plantagenets and having read many different books on the various characters I thought I would try this book to get an overall picture. I have only got into the reign of Henry III, but so far I have found the book to be interesting and informative and overall a very enjoyable and easy book to read.
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on 8 May 2015
A fine balance of historical detail, strong narrative and scope. Also a really enjoyable read. I'll certainly be returning to this book as well as seeking out other books by Dan Jones who has really wet my appetite for English history and put into context the fragments of fact and half truths remembered from grizzly tales of medieval battles, gruesome assassinations and noble 'knights in armour' from my boyhood.
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