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The Eight King Henrys of England (Hardback)

P&S History > British History P&S History > Royal History

By Philip J Potter
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 232
Illustrations: 14 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399009355
Published: 13th May 2024



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During the 1,000-year history of the English monarchy there have been eight kings with the name of Henry. The Eight King Henrys of England is the history of the reigns of these sovereign lords. In 1100 King William II of England was killed by a wayward arrow while hunting and his younger brother, Henry I, succeeded to the crown of England. As king, Henry I secured and strengthened his governing powers over the English kingdom. The second king of England named Henry crossed the English Channel in 1153 with his army to overthrow his cousin, King Stephen of Blois. Henry III reigned over England for fifty-six years, where he was occupied with the revolts of his recalcitrant nobles. In 1398 the future King Henry IV was exiled from England and spent the next year in France orchestrating the downfall of King Richard II. He returned to England in 1399 with a small band of advocates and was joined by numerous English lords, who supported him in the overthrow of the king, recognizing Henry IV as their sovereign lord. In 1413 Henry V followed his father to the English throne unchallenged. After governing his realm for two peaceful years, he assembled his army and crossed the English Channel to regain the lost French lands of his predecessors. Marching his army from the coast, the king’s troops clashed with the French at Agincourt on 25th October 1415. When the French charged, their ranks were decimated by the English archers and infantrymen, giving Henry V his greatest victory. The son of Henry V assumed the crown in 1422 ruling as the sixth Henry of England. During his long, tragic reign, English lands in France were lost and the kingdom beset with civil wars. In 1471 he was overthrown and murdered in the Tower of London. The king’s successor, Henry, was now forced to flee to France by the party in opposition. Following fourteen years in exile, he returned to England and soon confronted the ruling king defeating him at Bosworth Field, claiming the English crown as Henry VII. When the king died in 1509, his throne was taken by his eldest son, who ruled as King Henry VIII. After numerous wars with the French, in 1520 he negotiated a non-aggression treaty with his enemy and to celebrate the peace, they agreed to meet at Balinghem, France. During the seventeen days of festivities, the former enemies dined together in grand feasts and participated in numerous martial competitions. The grand event became known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold for the massive utilization of gold threads in a display of wealth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Philip Potter’s "The Eight King Henry’s of England" is a meticulously researched and engagingly written exploration of one of England’s most storied royal lineages. Potter skillfully brings to life the fascinating and often tumultuous reigns of the eight kings named Henry, providing readers with a comprehensive and vivid account of their impact on English history.

Potter's narrative is both scholarly and accessible, making complex historical events and figures approachable for a broad audience. His ability to intertwine political intrigue, personal drama, and historical context ensures that each King Henry's story is not only informative but also captivating. Potter’s detailed portraits of these monarchs highlight their unique contributions and flaws, offering a nuanced understanding of their legacies.

>From the medieval battles of Henry I to the infamous marital escapades of Henry VIII, and beyond, Potter delves into the political, social, and cultural changes that each king oversaw. His insightful analysis and engaging prose bring a fresh perspective to well-trodden historical ground, making the book a compelling read for both history enthusiasts and casual readers alike.

One of the standout features of "The Eight King Henry’s of England" is Potter’s ability to weave together the broader historical narrative with intriguing anecdotes and lesser-known details. This approach not only enriches the reader’s understanding but also keeps the story lively and engaging throughout.

Overall, "The Eight King Henry’s of England" is a masterful work of historical biography. Philip Potter has succeeded in crafting a book that is both educational and entertaining, shedding new light on the lives and times of England’s Henrys. It is a must-read for anyone interested in English history, royal dynasties, or the complexities of leadership and legacy.

NetGalley, Josie Conklin

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Eight King Henrys of England by Philip J Potter is an intriguing account of a 100 year history in the British Monarchy. Many of us are aware of Henry VIII and his six wives, but what of Henry II who sailed to France to have a war and remove his cousin from the throne, later replicated by Henry v who also sailed to France to have a set-to and his son, Henry VI had a really rough time of it and pretty much lost everything that was gained throughout his fathers reign. Not so well batted that chap.

The Henry's have a sometimes successful, sometimes desolate reign, but all of them have a fascinating story to tell which is written with style and panache in this book. Absolutely loved it.

NetGalley, Ink Reads

A comprehensive work and an interesting look into the lives of early English monarchs.

NetGalley, Lindsey Bosak

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I only really knew about King Henry the Eighth, so it was exciting to read about the other King Henry's of England. It had that element that I enjoyed from these types of books. Philip J. Potter has a great writing style and glad I read this.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

This was super interesting. The Tudor line itself is so long. This gave some background on the Henrys in the line. If you like this sort of read then add this to your list.

NetGalley, Sierra Gonzalez

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It's a unique way to write history, and it worked well. I will warn you, it's dense. It's meaty. But that's good history.

NetGalley, Rachel Dobb

About Philip J Potter

Philip J. Potter is a graduate of Furman University with a B. A. degree in humanity studies and earned a Master’s Degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. His business career of over thirty years was spent in the banking industry where his primary responsibilities were as a financial writer of economic forecast, investment analysis and portfolio strategies. The Mighty Warrior Kings is his sixth historical book and is the result of over fifty years of reading, studying and interest in the history of early western Europe. He lives with his wife, Joyce, in a northern suburb of Atlanta.

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