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The Fears of Henry IV

The Life of England's Self-Made King
Narrated by: James Cameron Stewart
Length: 22 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)
Regular price: £29.99
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Summary

King Henry IV survived at least eight plots to dethrone or kill him in the first six years of his reign. However, he had not always been so unpopular. In his youth he had been a great chivalric champion and crusader. In 1399, at the age of 32, he was greeted as the saviour of the realm when he ousted from power the tyrannical King Richard II. 

But Henry had to contend with men who supported him only as long as they could control him; when they failed, they plotted to kill him. Adversaries also tried to take advantage of his questionable right to the crown. Such threats transformed him from hero to murderer, prepared to go to any lengths to save his family and throne. 

Against all the odds, however, he took a poorly ruled nation, established a new Lancastrian dynasty and introduced the principle that a king must act in accordance with parliament.

©2014 Ian Mortimer (P)2017 Tantor

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I learned a lot about two Reigns

This book describes the lives of both Richard II and Henry IV as they are inextricably linked. My knowledge of these two Kings was largely based on the Shakespeare plays shaped by the playwright's awareness of the sensitivities of Elizabeth I to the deposing of a monarch. The author is an historian who has done much research which is reflected in the scholarly approach to many of the issues over the deposing of Richard and the validity of the various claims to the throne if Richard, as the grandson of the Edward III, was deemed not fit to rule.

It was a turbulent period of English history with civil strife and repeated battles against the Scots and the French which makes for a pacy narrative. I was left very aware of how circumstances surrounding a monarch's reign colour how he/she is regarded by future generations.

If you're interested in history I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.