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Usurpers, A New Look at Medieval Kings (Hardback)

Medieval History P&S History Medieval Tudors & Stuarts Royal History

By Michele Morrical
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526779502
Published: 30th September 2021


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In the Middle Ages, England had to contend with a string of usurpers who disrupted the British monarchy and ultimately changed the course of European history by deposing England’s reigning kings and seizing power for themselves. Some of the most infamous usurper kings to come out of medieval England include William the Conqueror, Stephen of Blois, Henry Bolingbroke, Edward IV, Richard III, and Henry Tudor. Did these kings really deserve the title of usurper or were they unfairly vilified by royal propaganda and biased chroniclers?

In this book we examine the lives of these six medieval kings, the circumstances which brought each of them to power, and whether or not they deserve the title of usurper. Along the way readers will hear stories of some of the most fascinating people from medieval Europe, including Empress Matilda, the woman who nearly succeeded at becoming the first ruling Queen of England; Eleanor of Aquitaine, the queen of both France and England who stirred her own sons to rebel against their father, Henry II; the cruel and vengeful reign of Richard II which caused his own family to overthrow him; the epic struggle for power between Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou, Richard of York, and Edward IV during the Wars of the Roses; the notorious Richard III and his monstrous reputation as a child-killer; and Henry VII who rose from relative obscurity to establish the most famous royal family of all time: the Tudors.

Featured in

Mortimer Matters, the magazine of the Mortimer History Society, July 2021

About Michele Morrical

Michele Morrical is a historical nonfiction writer from Indiana, USA, who researches and writes about medieval kings and queens in England, specializing in the period known as the Wars of the Roses and the ensuing Tudor Dynasty. She hosts a Tudor Blog in which she analyzes facts and fallacies that have been written about medieval England. Michele holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and works as a Digital Marketing Manager in the automotive industry. In her spare time, she enjoys reading (of course), gardening, and spending time with her family, including her husband Mark, son Thomas, and daughter Julia.

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When William the Conqueror died in 1087 he left the throne of England to William Rufus … his second son. The result was an immediate war as Rufus’s elder brother Robert fought to gain the crown he saw as rightfully his; this conflict marked the start of 400 years of bloody disputes as the English monarchy’s line of hereditary succession was bent, twisted and finally broken when the last Plantagenet king, Richard III, fell at Bosworth in 1485. The Anglo-Norman and Plantagenet dynasties were renowned for their internecine strife, and in Lost Heirs we will unearth the hidden stories of fratricidal…

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