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Sunday, February 19, 2012


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Hi David,

Just as you have your Ladybird book and 1066 And All That as key references, I too have my Ladybird, and a coffee table book called Kings And Queens of England and Scotland, by David Piper. As it happens, my Ladybird is a different one: Kings And Queens Of England Book 1 [up to Richard III]. Interestingly enough, it claims Richard Coeur de Lion was killed by a _poisoned_ arrow - a new one on me.

I digress. In fact, I wanted to talk about the other book, as I recall you bewailing all those hideously false likenesses of the Norman and Angevin kings. By way of contrast, my coffee table book resorts to photos of the burial effigies of the kings - all the way from Henry II to Henry IV. Naively, I was thinking these effigies must be accurate representations of the contents therein. But then, maybe they're just a reflection of how the subsequent king felt about his predecessor.

So I thought I'd ask you for your thoughts.

The History of England

Hi there. I have never heard of the poisonous arrow theory - shame on Ladybird!

Sadly, I don't think the effigies are any more lifelike than pictures in manuscripts; they are idealised images of how a noble should look, apparently. It's interesting though; the Fontevraud effigies are a good example; I suppose there some some differences between the two men, but not much; and they certainly don't reflect their age at death. Sadly I think it's not until Richard II that we get a personal image.

Jeremy Hoffman

As you were looking for book recommendations, here is one for the King John era: "1215 - The Year of Magna Carta" by Danny Danziger. It's more a social history of the era than a political one. It even contains the text of Magna Carta, if documents are your thing.


Currently reading "Lionheart & Lackland: King Richard, King John and the Wars of Conquest by Frank McLynn

From the blurb: "The author, known for a wide range of scholarly historical studies, here turns the tables on modern revisionist historians by showing exactly how bad a king John actually was, and in contrast how impressive Richard “Lionheart” was, in his narrative about the vicious, compelling world of the Plantagenets."

However, the consensus is that many feel it is pro-Richard and anti-John. But one must make up one's own mind.

Simon Thomas

Frank McLynn does seem to have an amazing range of interests. I loved his "1066 - Year of the Three Battles" and found his Napoleon biography a refreshing change from the norm (each chapter in turn examining the history and then pyschoanalysis of the man - unsurprising from an author that has also written a study of Jung).


is this all a ladybird book


Thanks this helped with homework.

The History of England

Bit scary. Hope you get a good mark, Tom...

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