The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England
A sweeping and entertaining history of the Plantagenet kings and their often equally impressive queens. There is a lot of ground to cover, and Jones does it in the same style as his previous books about similar periods, notably Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands – and with several overlapping characters.
A lot of the history of this period isn't widely known. That the boundaries of countries change is obvious, but perhaps less obvious is the idea that particular regions have clearly-identified "national" identities isn't a concept that translates well to the eleventh century, when Normandy and the Normans weren't in any way considered French and the relationships between barons and kings were far ore conditional and fluid than one might expect. Jones has a clear eye for where these expectations will trip-up a modern, non-expert reader, and that's part of the book's quality, along with his equally clear eye for fascinating characters and foibles.
4/5. Finished 27 February 2022.
(Originally published on Goodreads.)