King of the North Wind: The Life of Henry II in Five Acts (Hardback)Claudia Gold (author)
- Coming soon
Henry II conquered the largest empire of any English medieval king. Yet it is the people around him we remember: his wife Eleanor, whom he seduced from the French king; his son Richard the Lionheart; Thomas Becket, murdered in his cathedral. Who was this great, yet tragic king? For fans of Dan Jones, George RR Martin and Bernard Cornwell.
The only thing that could have stopped Henry was himself.
Henry II had all the gifts of the gods. Charismatic, clever, learned, empathetic, a brilliant tactician, with physical strength and an astonishing self-belief, contemporaries lauded his greatness and described him as their `Alexander of the West'. Henry was the creator of the Plantagenet dynasty of kings, who ruled through eight generations, in command of vast lands in Britain and Europe. Virtually unbeaten in battle, and engaged in a ceaseless round of conquest and diplomacy, Henry forged an empire that matched Charlemagne's.
It was not just on the battlefield that Henry excelled; he presided over a blossoming of culture and learning termed `the twelfth-century Renaissance', pursued the tenets of reason over religious faith, and did more to reform the justice system and enforce the rule of law than any other English monarch before or since.
And yet it is the people around him that are remembered: his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he seduced away from the French king; his sons Richard the Lionheart and John; Thomas Becket, murdered in his cathedral. Henry - so famed in his lifetime - has slipped into the shadows of history.
This books offers a fresh evaluation of this great yet tragic king. Written as historical tragedy, King of the North Wind tells how this most talented of kings came into conflict with those closest to him, to become the most haunted.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 690 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 mm
Praise for Claudia Gold:
'In this vivid, sweeping history, Claudia Gold brings to life fifty extraordinary women united not just by sex, but by talent, intellect and driving ambition. Well-known matriarchs such as Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Elizabeth I jostle for position with comparatively unsung heroines such as Theodora, Empress of Byzantium, Margaret I of Denmark, and Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii. A staggering achievement.'
'Incisive, cogently argued, passionate and at times even moving, this book both puts women centre-stage in the telling of our global history and reminds us what civilization owes to strong-willed, intelligent women.'
`Claudia Gold's opening chapters are hectic and brilliant' Daily Express
`Gold has produced a vivid and enjoyable biography' Spectator
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