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The author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets chronicles the next chapter in British history—the historical backdrop for Game of Thrones The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors. Some of the greatest heroes and villains of history were thrown together in these turbulent times, from Joan of Arc to Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt marked the high point of the medieval monarchy, and Richard III, who murdered his own nephews in a desperate bid to secure his stolen crown. This was a period when headstrong queens and consorts seized power and bent men to their will. With vivid descriptions of the battles of Towton and Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was slain, this dramatic narrative history revels in bedlam and intrigue. It also offers a long-overdue corrective to Tudor propaganda, dismantling their self-serving account of what they called the Wars of the Roses.
'The Hollow Crown is exhilarating, epic, blood-and-roses history . . . Jones's material is thrilling . . . There is fine scholarly intuition on display here and a mastery of the grand narrative; it is a supremely skilful piece of storytelling.' Sunday Telegraph The fifteenth century saw the crown of England change hands seven times as the great families of England fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. The Hollow Crown completes Dan Jones' epic history of medieval England, and describes how the Plantagenets tore themselves apart to be finally replaced by the Tudors. Some of the greatest heroes and villains in British history were thrown together in these turbulent times: Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt and prudent rule at home marked the high point of the medieval monarchy; Edward IV, who was handed his crown by the scheming soldier Warwick the Kingmaker, before their alliance collapsed into a fight to the death; and the last Plantagenet, Richard III, who stole the throne and murdered his own nephews, the Princes in the Tower. Finally, the Tudors arrived - but even their rule was only made certain in the 1520s, when Henry VIII ruthlessly hunted down his family's last remaining enemies. In the midst this tumult, chivalry was reborn, the printing press arrived and the Renaissance began to flourish. With vivid descriptions of the battle of Towton, where 28,000 men died in a single morning, and the Battle of Bosworth Field, at which Richard III was hacked down, this is the real story behind Shakespeare's famous history plays.
A rich, sprawling cast of characters, the Plantagenets were both gifted and cursed by an inherited trait that made some brilliant rulers and statesmen, and others cowards, bullies and tyrants. They ruled over wars of conquest and wars of defence. They fought holy Crusades and bitter feuds with Rome. At times their subjects enjoyed prosperity, security, national glory and vast wealth; at others they suffered plagues, invasions, famines and ignominious defeat at the hands of their enemies. The Plantagenets were by turns beautiful and cruel, judicious and insanely paranoid, brilliant and a tragically flawed family.THE PLANTAGENETS is divided into three parts, each telling a gripping story of the three main eras of Plantagenet rule. Together they combine as a historical epic of the sort that has not been written of British history for nearly a century. Parts I, II and III, The Angevins (c.1150 - 1272), The Edwards (1272 - 1360) and The English (1360 - 1399) look at fascinating characters such as Count Goeffrey V of Anjou, the first Plantagenet, Richard the Lionheart and his less famous older brother Henry, Edward the Black Prince and the stunning and influential princess Joan of Kent.In a book of dazzling scope and ambition, Dan Jones paints a psychological family portrait of the royal house of Plantagenet, creating a mesmerising new history of Britain before the Tudors. This is truly a definitive book building on the compelling style of his first book, SUMMER OF BLOOD, bringing medieval Britain into vivid focus for the modern reader, and accessible to readers from age 9 to 90.
It was 1501. England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy, violence, murders, coups and countercoups. Through luck, guile and ruthlessness, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor kings, had clambered to the top of the heap—a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England’s throne. For many he remained a usurper, a false king. But Henry had a crucial asset: his queen and their children, the living embodiment of his hoped-for dynasty. Queen Elizabeth was a member of the House of York. Henry himself was from the House of Lancaster, so between them they united the warring parties that had fought the bloody century-long Wars of the Roses. Now their older son, Arthur, was about to marry a Spanish princess. On a cold November day sixteen-year-old Catherine of Aragon arrived in London for a wedding that would mark a triumphal moment in Henry’s reign. In this remarkable book, Thomas Penn re-creates the story of the tragic, magnetic Henry VII—a controlling, paranoid, avaricious monarch who was entering the most perilous years of his long reign. Rich with drama and insight, Winter King is an astonishing story of pageantry, treachery, intrigue and incident—and the fraught, dangerous birth of Tudor England.
"Dan Jones has an enviable gift for telling a dramatic story while at the same time inviting us to consider serious topics like liberty and the seeds of representative government." —Antonia Fraser From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plantagenets, a lively, action-packed history of how the Magna Carta came to be. The Magna Carta is revered around the world as the founding document of Western liberty. Its principles—even its language—can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But what was this strange document and how did it gain such legendary status? Dan Jones takes us back to the turbulent year of 1215, when, beset by foreign crises and cornered by a growing domestic rebellion, King John reluctantly agreed to fix his seal to a document that would change the course of history. At the time of its creation the Magna Carta was just a peace treaty drafted by a group of rebel barons who were tired of the king's high taxes, arbitrary justice, and endless foreign wars. The fragile peace it established would last only two months, but its principles have reverberated over the centuries. Jones's riveting narrative follows the story of the Magna Carta's creation, its failure, and the war that subsequently engulfed England, and charts the high points in its unexpected afterlife. Reissued by King John's successors it protected the Church, banned unlawful imprisonment, and set limits to the exercise of royal power. It established the principle that taxation must be tied to representation and paved the way for the creation of Parliament. In 1776 American patriots, inspired by that long-ago defiance, dared to pick up arms against another English king and to demand even more far-reaching rights. We think of the Declaration of Independence as our founding document but those who drafted it had their eye on the Magna Carta. From the Hardcover edition.
'The Hollow Crown is exhilarating, epic, blood-and-roses history . . . Jones's material is thrilling . . . There is fine scholarly intuition on display here and a mastery of the grand narrative; it is a supremely skilful piece of storytelling.' Sunday TelegraphThe fifteenth century saw the crown of England change hands seven times as the great families of England fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. The Hollow Crown completes Dan Jones' epic history of medieval England, and describes how the Plantagenets tore themselves apart to be finally replaced by the Tudors.Some of the greatest heroes and villains in British history were thrown together in these turbulent times: Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt and prudent rule at home marked the high point of the medieval monarchy; Edward IV, who was handed his crown by the scheming soldier Warwick the Kingmaker, before their alliance collapsed into a fight to the death; and the last Plantagenet, Richard III, who stole the throne and murdered his own nephews, the Princes in the Tower. Finally, the Tudors arrived - but even their rule was only made certain in the 1520s, when Henry VIII ruthlessly hunted down his family's last remaining enemies.In the midst this tumult, chivalry was reborn, the printing press arrived and the Renaissance began to flourish. With vivid descriptions of the battle of Towton, where 28,000 men died in a single morning, and the Battle of Bosworth Field, at which Richard III was hacked down, this is the real story behind Shakespeare's famous history plays.
“Dan Jones is an entertainer, but also a bona fide historian. Seldom does one find serious scholarship so easy to read.” – The Times, Book of the Year A New York Times bestseller, this major new history of the knights Templar is “a fresh, muscular and compelling history of the ultimate military-religious crusading order, combining sensible scholarship with narrative swagger" – Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Jerusalem A faltering war in the middle east. A band of elite warriors determined to fight to the death to protect Christianity’s holiest sites. A global financial network unaccountable to any government. A sinister plot founded on a web of lies. Jerusalem 1119. A small group of knights seeking a purpose in the violent aftermath of the First Crusade decides to set up a new order. These are the first Knights Templar, a band of elite warriors prepared to give their lives to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Over the next two hundred years, the Templars would become the most powerful religious order of the medieval world. Their legend has inspired fervent speculation ever since. In this groundbreaking narrative history, Dan Jones tells the true story of the Templars for the first time in a generation, drawing on extensive original sources to build a gripping account of these Christian holy warriors whose heroism and alleged depravity have been shrouded in myth. The Templars were protected by the pope and sworn to strict vows of celibacy. They fought the forces of Islam in hand-to-hand combat on the sun-baked hills where Jesus lived and died, finding their nemesis in Saladin, who vowed to drive all Christians from the lands of Islam. Experts at channeling money across borders, they established the medieval world’s largest and most innovative banking network and waged private wars against anyone who threatened their interests. Then, as they faced setbacks at the hands of the ruthless Mamluk sultan Baybars and were forced to retreat to their stronghold in Cyprus, a vindictive and cash-strapped King of France set his sights on their fortune. His administrators quietly mounted a damning case against the Templars, built on deliberate lies and false testimony. Then on Friday October 13, 1307, hundreds of brothers were arrested, imprisoned and tortured, and the order was disbanded amid lurid accusations of sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Pope in secret proceedings and their last master was brutally tortured and burned at the stake. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state? Dan Jones goes back to the sources tobring their dramatic tale, so relevant to our own times, in a book that is at once authoritative and compulsively readable.

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