From Publishers Weekly
Roger Mortimer was an accomplished warrior under Edward II of England, then rebelled against his tyranny, escaped from the Tower of London, began an affair with Edward's estranged wife, Queen Isabella, invaded England with her and forced the king to abdicate. After effectively ruling England for three years on Edward III's behalf, Roger slipped into tyrannical rule and was overthrown by the young king. In this excellent companion to Alison Weir's new Queen Isabella
, the author's archival experience is apparent in his deft handling of sources. Mortimer (a British historian with no relation to his subject) packs fascinating information and interpretation into a fast-paced and entertaining narrative. His accounts of battles, especially Bannockburn, flawlessly blend action, strategy, personality and background detail. Mortimer includes considerable analysis of Edward II's famously brutal murder, arguing that the king actually survived and lived some years after the attempt. While it's hard to argue against centuries of received opinion, Mortimer effectively addresses gaps in the known facts and bolsters recent recasting of the history of this violent era. 8 pages of b&w photos, 4 maps. (Mar. 9)
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Author Mortimer reports that this is the first biography of medieval English baron Roger Mortimer (the two are not related). General readers will be interested in the work's compatibility with Queen Isabella
(2005) by the highly popular Alison Weir. The consort of Edward II, French-born Isabella allied herself politically and romantically with Mortimer. Author Mortimer prods the misty medieval sources to draw out their relationship, building the human story around the known facts of Mortimer's life. A loyal liege who battled Scotland's Bruce clan in Ireland and at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314), Mortimer fell out with Edward II, escaped from the Tower and a death sentence, but exacted vengeance by overthrowing Edward in 1327, ruling briefly with Isabella. But Mortimer faced the gallows following the usurpers' fall in a palace coup. This well-researched tome fills a gap in British annals of monarchy. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved