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Henry IV by Chris Given-Wilson
  

Henry IV

Part of the The English Monarchs Series Series
History   Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   The Real World   The Wolfson History Prize 2017   eBook Favourites   
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Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2017.

Not one of the famous Henrys, not a “V” or an VIII”, but a modest “IV”, more unfamiliar to us general readers and thus more interesting, there are new things to learn about our history. Chris Given-Wilson doesn’t disappoint, his history, with much newly revealed archival material proving a major bonus, challenges our received views. ~ Sue Baker

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The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England’s Self-Made King, Ian Mortimer
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: Handbook for Visitors, Ian Mortimer

Wolfson History Prize Judges: “Excellent… clear, crisp, and full of nuance, this will be the standard account of Henry IV for years to come.”

Synopsis

Henry IV by Chris Given-Wilson

Henry IV (1399-1413), the son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, seized the English throne at the age of thirty-two from his cousin Richard II and held it until his death, aged forty-five, when he was succeeded by his son, Henry V. This comprehensive and nuanced biography restores to his rightful place a king often overlooked in favor of his illustrious progeny. Henry faced the usual problems of usurpers: foreign wars, rebellions, and plots, as well as the ambitions and demands of the Lancastrian retainers who had helped him win the throne. By 1406 his rule was broadly established, and although he became ill shortly after this and never fully recovered, he retained ultimate power until his death. Using a wide variety of previously untapped archival materials, Chris Given-Wilson reveals a cultured, extravagant, and skeptical monarch who crushed opposition ruthlessly but never quite succeeded in satisfying the expectations of his own supporters.

Reviews

'This scholarly and readable contributor to Yale's English Monarchs series fills an important gap... an impressive achievement, a considered and well-rounded account in which youth and old age get their proper share of attention and the darker periods are lit up by the skilful use of published and unpublished records.' - Jonathan Sumption, Literary Review

'Given-Wilson's very substantial biography brings Henry IV out of the shadows. It is as good a study of an English king as one could desire: deeply researched, admirably comprehensive, well considered and competently told. Without neglecting the details the story requires, the narrative never falters, and the pace is compelling throughout.' - Nicholas Orme, Church Times

'In a fine-grained account laced with deep scholarship and lucid historical insight, Given-Wilson shows not only the drama of Richard's fall, complete with greyhounds and golden robes, but the domino-effect destabilization caused by Henry's pivotal dilemma.' - Helen Castor, TLS

'In this magnificent new study, Chris Given-Wilson gives us an account of Henry IV's life rooted in the fullest possible trawl through the sources.' - Nigel Saul, History Today

'[A] clearly written, vivid account ... A splendid addition to Yale's 'English Monarchs
series' - A. C. Reeves, Choice

About the Author

Chris Given-Wilson

Chris Given-Wilson is emeritus professor of medieval history, University of St. Andrews, and author of nine books on medieval history. He lives in Fife, UK.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd February 2016

Author

Chris Given-Wilson

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Publisher

Yale University Press

Format

Hardback
608 pages

Categories

History
Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
The Real World
The Wolfson History Prize 2017
eBook Favourites

Biography: historical, political & military


ISBN

9780300154191

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