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Edward II : The Unconventional King - Kathryn Warner

Edward II

The Unconventional King

By: Kathryn Warner, Ian Mortimer (Foreword by)

Hardcover | 19 October 2014

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He is one of the most reviled English kings in history. He drove his kingdom to the brink of civil war a dozen times in less than twenty years. He allowed his male lovers to rule the kingdom. He led a great army to the most ignominious military defeat in English history. His wife took a lover and invaded his kingdom, and he ended his reign wandering around Wales with a handful of followers, pursued by an army. He was the first king of England forced to abdicate his throne. Popular legend has it that he died screaming impaled on a red-hot poker, but in fact the time and place of his death are shrouded in mystery. His life reads like an Elizabethan tragedy, full of passionate doomed love, bloody revenge, jealousy, hatred, vindictiveness and obsession.

He was Edward II, and this book tells his story. The focus here is on his relationships with his male `favourites' and his disaffected wife, on his unorthodox lifestyle and hobbies, and on the mystery surrounding his death. Using almost exclusively fourteenth-century sources and Edward's own letters and speeches wherever possible, Kathryn Warner strips away the myths which have been created about him over the centuries, and provides a far more accurate and vivid picture of him than has previously been seen.
Industry Reviews
'A richly detailed, compelling look at one of England's most misunderstood kings ... this is the biography of Edward II for which I have long been waiting.' -- Susan Higginbotham, author of The Woodvilles
'A new biography of Edward II is an important publication. ... Kathryn Warner brings fresh air to the study of Edward II's reign. ... She understands the importance of the human subject beyond the evidence. ... In this case the essential things to grasp are the man's personality and his contemporary reputation: what motivated him, what frightened him, and what he perceived to be his worth to others. ... Edward II's reign will always be regarded as a failure but as a result of studies like this, there is a hope that the man who was the centre of events will emerge in all his complexity, not simply as a weak king. He had his virtues - among them his piety, his loyalty to his friends and his generosity.' -- Ian Mortimer, bestselling author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

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