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The Reign of Henry III Hardcover – October 17, 2003

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About the Author

David Carpenter is Professor of History at Kings College, London and one of the world's leading authorities on Britain in the thirteenth century.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (October 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852851376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852851378
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,454,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Putman on February 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book deserves far better reviews than it has been given. Its biggest problem is the price. At a lower price this would make an excellent addition to a library about the English medieval kings. The book cannot be criticized for not being a smooth-flowing biography. It was not intended to be a story. Nor does the book deserve a bad rap for use of medieval terminology. Any serious study of medieval kings is going to use the appropriate language. Carpenter's book is a very good anthology on Henry III.

The book is composed of 21 papers, all by the author. Many of them are counterarguments to other historians. I would rate a third to half of the papers as excellent - insightful and critical for understanding 13th century England. Among the best are:

"Justice and Jurisdiction under King John and King Henry III" Carpenter argues here that the legal apparatus set up by Henry II and Magna Carta was still corrupted by political intrigues when applied to the barons under Henry III. He gives numerous examples. His case is well put that justice for the more lowly citizens was actually much smoother than for the magnates. This is an interesting twist on what many think happened after Magna Carta.

"The Fall of Hubert de Burgh" De Burgh was one of the people most responsible for safeguarding Henry when he was a child king and for guiding his policies in the early years. Yet his help gets buried in the mutual hatred and vicious disagreements with Peter des Roches. De Burgh ends up in prison a broken man and des Roches runs the country like an autocrat from 1232-34. Des Roches is then himself "deposed" for his abuses. This is a thoroughly human drama of good work and good faith in a weak king undermined by a lust for power.

"What Happened in 1258?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sir Butternut Longsword VINE VOICE on September 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is not a review but a guide to works on henry iii.
Your first buy must be powickes 2 volume history King Henry III and the lord Edward.
this same author wrote on the first 21 years of Henry's life in his work titled "the minority of Henry III".
secondly, for those laymen interested in a narrative history of this king, Thomas Costains second volume in his 4 part History of the plantagenets subtitled "the magnificent century" is an absolute must have and was for a time the only easily available source on this neglected king. I'll also say that though written before the eruption of medieval information that changed our perceptions of the time period in the last couple decades, this is for me, and others, the seed from which grew my love of the period. Read all four volumes.
Recently, John Paul Davis wrote a semi short biography of Henry titled " the Gothic king."
It is for laymen only, and, in my opinion, hasn't the spirited prose, wit, or innate love that is apparent on every page of Costains work. But, it is recent and more up to date than other sources, as well as being moderately priced and easily accessible.
All that being said, do not think that lack of published scholarship or public infatuation means the subject is less than thrilling. in fact, henry iii ' s reign was extraordinary in its turbulence and cast of characters, including two of the greatest in William Marshall and Simon De montfort.
His minority saw half his kingdom kneeling too the French prince Louis, son of Philip Augustus. His father's reign ended in a castle while on the run from his fed up barons. The crown, in just 2 kings, had fallen from the mightiest empire in christendom to a mockery.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Dise on May 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First of all it should be stated that this is in no way a chronological or narrative history of the reign of Henry III, but rather a series of essays which appeared in different places, in different publications covering certain aspects of the reign. Not even the print is consistent, the articles appearing in different fonts, etc.

For the layman or casual reader this book is a definite no-no. The writing is scholarly in the extreme, sometimes dry as dust and many times difficult to fathom. One had better already have a good grounding in feudal law and custom as well as Latin legal terms if they really wish to get anything out of this publication.

Let's hope that a good modern author such as Ian Mortimer will take on Henry III and provide us with a good, meaty,scholarly and also compelling study of this most fascinating reign. Henry needs and deserves a good and COMPLETE portait. For readers looking for good material on the reign I highly recommend Margaret Howell's "Eleanor of Provence", the biography of Henry's queen consort.

Two stars for somewhat misleading title and really prohibitive cost.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Sharp on August 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I would buy this book in a flash were it not so ridiculously expensive !!!
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