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Henry Ii Penguin Monarchs

Author : Richard Barber
ISBN : 9780141977096
Genre : History
File Size : 21.46 MB
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Henry II (1154-89) through a series of astonishing dynastic coups became the ruler of an enormous European empire. One of the most dynamic, restless and clever men ever to rule England, he was brought down both by his catastrophic relationship with his archbishop Thomas Becket and his debilitating arguments with his sons, most importantly the future Richard I and King John. His empire may have ultimately collapsed, but in Richard Barber's vivid and sympathetic account the reader can see why Henry II left such a compelling impression on his contemporaries.
Category: History

Edward Ii Penguin Monarchs

Author : Christopher Given-Wilson
ISBN : 9780141977973
Genre : History
File Size : 36.7 MB
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'He seems to have laboured under an almost child-like misapprehension about the size of his world. Had greatness not been thrust upon him, he might have lived a life of great harmlessness.' The reign of Edward II was a succession of disasters. Unkingly, inept in war, and in thrall to favourites, he preferred digging ditches and rowing boats to the tedium of government. His infatuation with a young Gascon nobleman, Piers Gaveston, alienated even the most natural supporters of the crown. Hoping to lay the ghost of his soldierly father, Edward I, he invaded Scotland and suffered catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn. After twenty ruinous years, betrayed and abandoned by most of his nobles and by his wife and her lover, Edward was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle and murdered - the first English king since the Norman Conquest to be deposed.
Category: History

James Ii Penguin Monarchs

Author : David Womersley
ISBN : 9780141977072
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 48.46 MB
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The short, action-packed reign of James II (1685-88) is generally seen as one of the most catastrophic in British history. James managed, despite having access to tremendous reserves of good will and deference, to so alienate his supporters that he had to flee for his life. And yet, most of that life was spent not as king but first as heir to Charles II, as Duke of York (after whom New York is named) and then in the last part of his life as the first Jacobite 'Pretender', starting a problem that would haunt Britain's rulers for generations.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Richard Ii Penguin Monarchs

Author : Laura Ashe
ISBN : 9780141979908
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 76.42 MB
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Richard II (1377-99) came to the throne as a child, following the long, domineering, martial reign of his grandfather Edward III. He suffered from the disastrous combination of a most exalted sense of his own power and an inability to impress that power on those closest to the throne. Neither trusted nor feared, Richard battled with a whole series of failures and emergencies before finally succumbing to a coup, imprisonment and murder. Laura Ashe's brilliant account of his reign emphasizes the strange gap between Richard's personal incapacity and the amazing cultural legacy of his reign - from the Wilton Diptych to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman and The Canterbury Tales.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Elizabeth Ii Penguin Monarchs

Author : Douglas Hurd
ISBN : 9780141979427
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 50.45 MB
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In September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest-reigning monarch. During her long lifetime Britain and the world have changed beyond recognition, yet throughout she has stood steadfast as a lasting emblem of stability, continuity and public service. Historian and senior politician Douglas Hurd has seen the Queen at close quarters, as Home Secretary and then on overseas expeditions as Foreign Secretary. Here he considers the life and role of Britain's most greatly admired monarch, who, inheriting a deep sense of duty from her father George VI, has weathered national and family crises, seen the end of an Empire and heard voices raised in favour of the break-up of the United Kingdom. Hurd creates an arresting portrait of a woman deeply conservative by nature yet possessing a ready acceptance of modern life and the awareness that, for things to stay the same, they must change. With a preface by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Category: Biography & Autobiography

William Iii Mary Ii Penguin Monarchs

Author : Jonathan Keates
ISBN : 9780141976884
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 68.60 MB
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William III (1689-1702) & Mary II (1689-94) (Britain's only ever 'joint monarchs') changed the course of the entire country's history, coming to power through a coup (which involved Mary betraying her own father), reestablishing parliament on a new footing and, through commiting Britain to fighting France, initiating an immensely long period of warfare and colonial expansion. Jonathan Keates' wonderful book makes both monarchs vivid, the cold, shrewd 'Dutch' William and the shortlived Mary, whose life and death inspired Purcell to write some of his greatest music.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Henry Iv Penguin Monarchs

Author : Catherine Nall
ISBN : 9780241188651
Genre : History
File Size : 32.30 MB
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When Henry IV seized the throne from his cousin Richard II, some commentators saw it as a hopeful new beginning for England. The first monarch to have English as his mother tongue since the Norman conquest, Henry seemed to embody the ideals of chivalric kingship: mercy, piety, military prowess and learning. Yet deposing a crowned monarch was not a stable foundation on which to build a reign, and Henry IV found himself challenged from all sides, plagued by conspiracies, rebellions, assassination attempts, and crippling debts. His tense relationships with parliament and with his own son, Shakespeare's Prince Hal, saw his grip on power falter. Nevertheless, he was the first king and founder of a Lancastrian dynasty which would go on to shape England for centuries to come. In this lively study, Catherine Nall reappraises a monarch who weathered upheaval and uncertainty, and held on to the throne through sheer force of will.
Category: History

George Vi Penguin Monarchs

Author : Philip Ziegler
ISBN : 9780141977386
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 77.94 MB
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Written by Philip Ziegler, one of Britain's most celebrated biographers, George VI is part of the Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers in a collectible format If Ethelred was notoriously 'Unready' and Alfred 'Great', King George VI should bear the title of 'George the Dutiful'. Throughout his life, George dedicated himself to the pursuit of what he thought he ought to be doing rather than what he wanted to do. Inarticulate and loathing any sort of public appearances, he accepted that it was his destiny to figure conspicuously in the public eye, gritted his teeth, battled his crippling stammer and got on with it. He was not born to be king, but he made an admirable one, and was the figurehead of the nation at the time of its greatest trial, the Second World War. This is a brilliant, touching and sometimes funny book about this reluctant public figure, and the private man. Philip Ziegler is the author of the authorised biographies of Mountbatten, Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. His other books include The Duchess of Dino, William IV, The Black Death and most recently Olivier. Initially a diplomat, he worked for many years in book publishing before becoming a full-time writer.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

George V Penguin Monarchs

Author : David Cannadine
ISBN : 9780141976907
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 23.60 MB
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For a man with such conventional tastes and views, George V had a revolutionary impact. Almost despite himself he marked a decisive break with his flamboyant predecessor Edward VII, inventing the modern monarchy, with its emphasis on frequent public appearances, family values and duty. George V was an effective war-leader and inventor of 'the House of Windsor'. In an era of ever greater media coverage--frequently filmed and initiating the British Empire Christmas broadcast--George became for 25 years a universally recognised figure. He was also the only British monarch to take his role as Emperor of India seriously. While his great rivals (Tsar Nicolas and Kaiser Wilhelm) ended their reigns in catastrophe, he plodded on. David Cannadine's sparkling account of his reign could not be more enjoyable, a masterclass in how to write about Monarchy, that central--if peculiar--pillar of British life.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Charles I Penguin Monarchs

Author : Mark Kishlansky
ISBN : 9780141979847
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 86.97 MB
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The tragedy of Charles I dominates one of the most strange and painful periods in British history as the whole island tore itself apart over a deadly, entangled series of religious and political disputes. In Mark Kishlansky's brilliant account it is never in doubt that Charles created his own catastrophe, but he was nonetheless opposed by men with far fewer scruples and less consistency who for often quite contradictory reasons conspired to destroy him. This is a remarkable portrait of one of the most talented, thoughtful, loyal, moral, artistically alert and yet, somehow, disastrous of all this country's rulers.
Category: Biography & Autobiography