Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI (Hardback)Lauren Johnson (author)
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The king whose troubled and tumultuous reign paved the way for the dynastic slaughter of the Wars of the Roses, Henry IV is too often regarded as merely weak or mad. Johnson’s meticulously researched study is balanced and immersive, revealing as much about the upheaval of the period as the complex mental state of the king. The definitive book on a much misunderstood monarch, The Shadow King is nothing short of a masterpiece.
First-born son of a warrior father who defeated the French at Agincourt, Henry VI of the House Lancaster inherited the crown not only of England but also of France, at a time when Plantagenet dominance over the Valois dynasty was at its glorious height.
And yet, by the time he was done to death in the Tower of London in 1471, France was lost, his throne had been seized by his rival, Edward IV of the House of York, and his kingdom had descended into the violent chaos of the Wars of the Roses.
Henry VI is perhaps the most troubled of English monarchs, a pious, gentle, well-intentioned man who was plagued by bouts of mental illness. In Shadow King, Lauren Johnson tells his remarkable and sometimes shocking story in a fast-paced and colourful narrative that captures both the poignancy of Henry's life and the tumultuous and bloody nature of the times in which he lived.
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Number of pages: 736
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'Johnson is to be commended for doing something different, putting [Henry VI] back where he belongs. It is Henry's character, scrupulously and sensitively drawn by Johnson, that did most to shape the extraordinary and dramatic events of his reign.' - The Times.
'[Lauren Johnson's] intention is to rediscover the man behind the myths and she has succeeded. Johnson has written a long, scrupulously researched book, but an eminently readable one.' - New Statesman.
'A lively telling of a hapless reign.' - Strong Words.
'Enthrallingly told ... [Lauren Johnson] gives us a convincing picture of Henry, a gentle man unsuited to his position, and of his bloody and brutal times ... The Shadow King is a scholarly work aimed at the common reader - and the common reader is richly rewarded.' - Wall Street Journal.
'This evocative life of Henry VI shows how betrayal and defeat drove him out of his wits (with) the freshest material and hypotheses... Johnson excels.' - The Saturday Telegraph
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