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The Gothic King: A Biography of Henry III Paperback – June 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


"Offering new insight to the man who may have been behind the legend, and gives much to intrigue readers."  —Midwest Book Review on Robin Hood: The Unknown Templar

About the Author

John Paul Davis is the author of Pity for the Guy and Robin Hood: The Unknown Templar.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720614805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720614800
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


John Paul Davis is the International Bestselling author of six thriller novels and three historical biographies. His websites are and

His first novel, The Templar Agenda, an historical thriller, has been ranked in the UK Top 20, including Top 3 in thrillers and number 1 in Historical Thrillers and Religious Fiction. It has also appeared in the top 10 in Historical Thrillers on Amazon US. His second thriller, The Larmenius Inheritance, was released in January 2013 and has also appeared at the top of the Historical Thriller and Religious Fiction charts, as well as Top 50 in thrillers and Top 350 overall.

His third thriller, THE PLANTAGENET VENDETTA, has also been a bestseller, including being ranked #161 in the UK chart and Top 30 thrillers. His latest thrillers, The Cortés Enigma and The Cromwell Deception have also been historical bestsellers. The Cortés Enigma is now available in standalone edition; the first edition formed part of the bestselling HOT BOX box set, that included work by International Bestselling thriller authors David Leadbeater, Mike Wells and Steven Bannister.

His debut work, Robin Hood: The Unknown Templar, has been the subject of international attention, including articles in The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Yorkshire Post and Nottingham Evening Post, mentions in USA Today and The Independent and reviews in the Birmingham Post and Medieval History Journal. His second work, Pity for the Guy, is the first full length biography of Guy Fawkes and was featured on "The Alan Titchmarsh Show" in November 2011.

His most recent work of non-fiction, The Gothic King - a biography of Henry III, was released in the UK on 9 April 2013.

He is currently working on further thrillers, due to be released in late 2015.

He was educated at Loughborough University and lives in Warwickshire.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sir Butternut Longsword VINE VOICE on September 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When you are born the son of "bad" king john, and are coronated on the run as your kingdom is being invaded by the dauphin of France, who, it turns out, was welcomed as a hero by your own people, the fact that you turn in the longest rein in medieval history speaks volumes. His minority was lead by William Marshall no less, need I say more.
Yes, he doesn't execute wives or archbishops, nor was he crowned as an infant in france, but you could argue his victory over simon de montfort was much more important than agincourt, though not as memorable.
You will be hard pressed to find options when it comes to Henry the Builder. Previous to this the only books I read on him were Thomas Costains volume in his excellent (though outdated and intentionally sensational) Plantagenet series where the third Henry earned nearly a volume unto himself. The other is the plain toast oxford history which has its appeal. There are more books on Montfort (as, perhaps there should be.]
Don't dismiss Henry III because u haven't been told his legends since birth. His times were trying, his people rebellious, the outcomes tragic, and there is much to be rewarded from in this book. This isn't a scholarly book in the vein of the English monarch series, but rather an approachable chronological account of a vast reign of a mostly forgotten, but vitally important king for the general public. Definetely recommended.
For further reading, do not hesitate to purchase Thomas Costains 4 volume Plantagenet series. True, there has been much scholarship since its publication, but it reads like a novel and you will be hard pressed to find a more entertaining history. Though this is not in the same vein as that, it is still aimed more for the laymen than true scholars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Wayne Wells on January 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Henry III of England is one of the least known of all the English monarchs. Despite the fact that he reigned as King of England for 56 years (1216-1272), this biography written by John Paul Davis is one of the very few biographies written about the life of Henry III of England. The book is an easy and exciting read. I read the book almost straight through as soon as I received it in the mail.

This biography of Henry III of England is aptly named "The Gothic King." The 11th chapter of the book called "Henry the Builder" explains why. Although, the term "Gothic" was not used until the sixteenth century (the 1500s), the term has always been used to describe the churches, palaces and castles that were built in France from the twelfth (1100s) through the sixteenth centuries. In England the Gothic style became popular in buildings largely during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). Westminister Abby was both planned and built during Henry III's reign. After having been destroyed by fire in 1087 and again in 1136, St. Paul's Cathedral was rebuilt during the reign of Henry III in a Gothic design. Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, England and Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England along with many other cathedrals throughout England were given Gothic facelifts during the time of Henry III.

I read this book in conjunction with another book--"Four Gothic Kings: Henry III, Edward I, Edward II and Edward III" edited by Elizabeth Hallam. This book was a collection of descriptions of these four kings by various chroniclers of the Middle Ages. Reading both books together was an enriching experience and added a great deal to my understanding the life and times of Henry III.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. on August 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
Dispels many myths. A somewhat sad but inspirational biography.
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