Sunday, 1 February 2015

It's all Sharon Penman's fault......

I'm afraid I've neglected this blog for a few weeks, and I'm blaming Sharon Penman:)   On the recommendation of  Kasia , I started reading 'The Devil's Brood', and have been hooked on it.  It's over 800 pages long, but once you pick it up, it's difficult to put it down, and if you can't devote at least an hour session to it, then don't pick it up.  Having studied the Angevins at university over 20 years ago, it's been some time since I did any reading on them, apart from the odd King John article.  It was very nice to be re-united with them, even in fiction.  'The Devil's Brood' is extremely well written and absorbing, detailing the squabbles amongst Henry II and his sons.  They all have their flaws.  I still can't help feeling sorry for Henry II with his grasping, never-satisfied sons.  


2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and as expected, there will be a slew of new books on it.  I'm bracing myself for an onslaught of 'tyrannical' King John.  There's also a new book on William Marshal, 'The Greatest Knight: The remarkable life of William Marshal' by Thomas Asbridge, which I've just ordered. 


Magna Carta also features on the cover of the February issue of the BBC History magazine - and inside is a very good review of Kathryn Warner's   book on Edward II, by Nicholas Vincent, professor of medieval history at the University of East Anglia.


History Today magazine has an excellent article by Ian Mortimer on the DNA controversy of Richard III's remains see  BBC report on Richard III's DNA   Far from casting doubting on the paternity of John of Gaunt, Mortimer makes a convincing argument that the paternity of  Edward III's grandson, Richard of Conisbrough, the grandfather of Richard III, is far more questionable.


Hopefully a Piers-related post will follow soon!

9 comments:

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

Thank you for mentioning me and my Henry the Young King blog, Anerje! A daily one hour session, hmm... When I read The Devil's Brood my family life lay in ruin :-) Not to mention other duites...

Do not take Prof Asbridge words for gospel. I'm in touch with an expert in William and she says the research of the book is abysmal :-(

Anerje said...

Hi Kasia, I'm afraid things like work, cleaning, cooking and shopping kept getting in the way:)

I shall read the Ashbridge book with an open mind but bear your warning in mind. I'm holding back on Marc Morris' King John book until I read some reviews, even though I've read one of his other books. I've a feeling John will take a hammering this year. And yes I know he did some bad things and made mistakes - but was he really any worse than his brother Richard?

Anerje said...

Oh, and thank you for re-igniting my interest in the Angevins:)

Kasia Ogrodnik said...

I am happy and grateful that I have someone to discuss them with, Anerje.

Kathryn Warner said...

Sorry, Anerje, somehow I missed this post until now! So glad to hear you're enjoying Sharon Penman's novels, and thanks for the link to my book review :) I'm so thrilled to be in BBC History Magazine.

Kathryn Warner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anerje said...

You're welcome! :)

Gabriele Campbell said...

Yeah, I would not be suprised about lots of Evil John. With the 2000 year anniversary of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 2009, it was a lot of Inept/Greedy Varus, which was not doing the man justice at all. TV 'documentaries' are some of the worst offenders.

Anerje said...

Hi Gabrielle. I've recorded 2 documentaries on John - I just need the courage to watch them:)