The Demon’s Brood: A History of the Plantagenet Dynasty

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The Plantagenet dynasty ruled England from Henry II through Richard III, and included such famous as Henry V, hero of Agincourt; Richard Lionheart, champion of the Crusades; Edward I, the “Hammer of the Scots;” Henry IV, “The Usurper;” and the dastardly John Lackland (whose persecution of the barons led to Magna Carta). Supposedly sprung from a demon witch, the Plantagenets were a line of powerful, cruel, dynamic rulers, expertly chronicled in The Demon’s Brood.

Author Desmond Seward chose breadth over depth to look at the long history of this house, but even with the drastic condensing necessary to cover three hundred years of turbulent history, the book includes excellent detail and vivid events that reanimate these kings for the modern reader.

The author is not a completely unbiased scribe, but his assessments are careful and measured and weighed with those of earlier biographers. The writing is clear and succinct, compelling, and persuasive. The rival factions and fluid alliances are dizzying, as are the various claims to the throne, but a helpful (essential!) genealogical chart and timeline are included. Although not the final word on this dynasty (of course with history, there never can be), it’s an excellent place to begin.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Pegasus Books
Publish Date 2014-Sep-15
ISBN 9781605986180 Buy this Book
Issue January 2015
Category History


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