Within the Hollow Crown by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Within the Hollow Crown

"Within the hollow crown that rounds the mortal temples of a king..." -Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Richard IIUnlike his father, the Black Prince, or his namesake, King Richard the Lionheart, Richard II never really wanted to be king. But the mantle of royalty is thrust upon his shoulders at age 11, at a time when England is racked by unrest and class warefare. A leader as unexpected as he is inexperienced, young Richard must find a way to tr...

Details Within the Hollow Crown

TitleWithin the Hollow Crown
Release DateApr 1st, 2010
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, European Literature, British Literature, Fiction, Medieval

Reviews Within the Hollow Crown

  • Erin
    Richard II is the Plantagenet English monarch discussed here in a historical fiction setting. I had never read anything about this monarch before and it was an okay introduction but it left me with a lot of questions regarding the three sections of his life- his youth, his marriage, and his violent death. What an absolute enigma of a man he appeared to be.
  • Anna
    The majority of this book is a no fuss, no frills, solid read about Richard II - perfect if you're fairly new to the finer points of his reign, as I am. By strange contrast though, after so much interest and detail about his earlier years, the crux of his story - Henry Bolingbroke’s usurpation - felt rushed and empty, with no build-up, explanation or reasoning. Had I not already known the history, I’d have been left scratching my head wonderi...
  • Jane
    I was led to read this after viewing the recent PBS production of Shakespeare's Richard II. This was a pleasant novel, with a positive portrayal of Richard II, the last Plantagenet king, son of Edward, the Black Prince. I'd award this ***1/2, were this rating available. Outstanding was the vivid picture of 14th century England this novel gave.At age 11, Richard Plantagenet becomes king upon his father's death. The novel is the story of his reign ...
  • Amanda
    3.5 starsPROS: 1) I found the characters and story gripping and realistically drawn. 2) The writing made the story easy to get into because it flowed well.CONS: 1) I recognize that I have a personal bias in that I find myself very fond of history and historical fiction in general. This may not be the case for others, so getting into the story might be harder for those people. Regardless of quality of writing. 2) On the whole and when you get righ...
  • Jemidar
    More like 3.5 stars.Good solid, old school historical fiction about Richard II of England and his tragic reign which avoids getting overly bogged down in the politics of the time. The pluses of this are obvious but can lead to a little confusion why everyone is so against poor Richard and it also tends to romanticize his reign somewhat, although not in a sickly sweet and syrupy way. Recommended but you may need to reference Wikipedia occasionally...
  • Marie
    Margaret Campbell Barnes was a popular historical writer of her day, which was fifty years ago. She doesn't write as dramatically as popular historical fiction writers of today, but she weaves us through the story as deftly as possible. Within The Hollow Crown features the young king, Richard II who 'ruled' from 1377 (at age ten) to 1399. Barnes attempts to recreate this tumultuous rule as he grows a bit older, marries Anne of Bohemia and ultimat...
  • Steve
    A marvelous reinterpretation of Richard II. Ms. Campbell attempts to portray the King as a man who fell deeply in love with his wife Anne, after they wed. This love allowed Richard to bring peace to his realm and attempt to restore England to financial solvency, after decades of brutal taxation to fund glamorous foreign wars. Tragically, his beloved is taken from him. Without the strength and stability Queen Anne provided the King, he gradually--...
  • Jeanette
    Marking this as read is cheating. I read 1/3rd and then skimmed. This is not history or even history light, IMHO. So I couldn't give it the time for the value taken. Writing Richard II as empathetic or sympathetic or "nice" or giving him first a "sweetie" and then gone to "nasty" personality change without telling the politics in detail?Well, the style and the license taken are not in the proper "eyes" for the century. Some facts of his life are ...
  • Brian
    This is one of the very few books where Richard II is presented as a hero, so it earns at least one star just for that as far as I am concerned.As to history - well, let's say certain things are twisted till they break, while the chronology is about as accurate as in Shakespeare's Richard III. There's some nice characterisation, particularly Richard himself and Anne, but most of the others are not really fully drawn. There's a slightly odd sub pl...
  • Bridget
    Both his father and grandfather have passed away and now Richard II, who is just a boy, is the new King of England. Being a child he was only able to rule with the Regency Council. As he grew to be a teenage, the council was null and he was able to make decisions for his people as he saw fit. He also fell in love and took a wife, Anne of Bohemia at this important time in his life.There are so many things that happen in this book. King Richard's l...
  • Pat K
    I really liked this book. I have read a number of books by this author and always finish the books feeling like I have learned some history as well as having a thoroughly good read.
  • Melanie
    Reading this book was very helpful in understanding a little bit more about the reign of Richard II.
  • Amanda
    Again not enough dialogue for my liking
  • Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
    I will also do a video review here at my channel: http://www.youtube.com/magicofbooks"Within the Hollow Crown" by Margaret Campbell Barnes is historical fiction based on King Richard II's rule. Richard never wanted to be king and his father is a continual shadow in his life. England is in political and class warfare, and an inexperienced Richard must figure out a way to form his own kingship and not let his uncles control him.Richard II is a bit ...
  • Therese
    $3.99 – 2.5 starsI have been reading to learn more about Richard II, but this book while labeled historical fiction was heavy on the fiction and very light on the history. The author took more creative license than I would have cared for her to do. Richard II remains an enigma, and while history hasn’t been kind to him (far from it), could it be possible that he was completely misunderstood and totally unprepared to rule? Some men are born to...
  • Casilda
    This is another book Ive had on my tbr pile for about a year and finally felt in the mood to read, having recently read Crown in Candlelight which deals with the immediate aftermath of Richard II's usurpation and death. Written in 1948 I must say I quite enjoyed the style of the dialogue spoken which reflects the time in which the book was written. It very much made me think of old films made in the 1940's and 50's and I couldnt help reading the ...
  • Heather
    Richard II is a just a kid when he becomes the King of England. As a boy king, his uncles have a lot of power over his decisions and use him to put their own agenda forward. After dealing with a large scale peasant revolt, where he takes control of the situation himself to the shock of his uncles, Richard begins to take over the reins of government. For the first time in years, England is in a state of relative peace, but that cannot last for lon...
  • Jennifer
    From my blog...[return][return]When writing reviews such as this one, there is for me a fine line between giving just enough information and telling too much. Hopefully the information I have selected to share will be enough to make readers want to pick up this book. Within the Hollow Crown by Margaret Campbell Barnes is beautifully written and at times tragic tale of Richard II. His father Prince Edward, more commonly referred to as the Black Pr...
  • Terra
    This is a book that is a wonderfully meaty read that will pull you here, there and everywhere. A highly emotional story of injustice starting with a young boy King and taking you though the first twenty plus years of his reign as King of England. A story that will make you feel sorry for this young man born of privilege for he is not exempt from the cruelties of life as most of us would think.Richard II takes reign as King of England at the young...
  • Tarotemp
    Admittedly, my opinion of Richard II before reading Within the Hollow Crown was less than stellar, mostly because to me he was what I like to think of as: "A half-mad tweener king with a lot of growing pains." Placed on the throne at age 10 after the deaths of the long-lived Good King Edward III and his son, the beloved Black Prince, Richard struggled to fill some very big shoes. Unlike his fiery male Plantagenet predecessors, Richard was worldly...
  • Svea
    2.5 StarsRead my full review on my blog: Confessions & Ramblings of a Muse in the FogThis was a hard book for me to attach myself to. The first few pages were great but then it really became a bit dull until a little over half way through. Although I found the beginning a tad dry, I did enjoy reading about Richard's personality and seeing him change from a mere youth to a man who could rule a country. The author did a splendid job of helping the ...
  • Dana
    Richard II, King of England is a much maligned monarch. History has not treated him well and his role as the last Plantagenet king of England is a prelude to the War or Roses and the establishment of the Tudor dynasty. During his reign, Richard faced one of the first recorded peasant revolt in England as well as constant in fighting amongst his uncles, the sons of Edward III, one of the greatest English kings. After quelling the revolt and marryi...
  • Kathleen Kelly
    This is another great historical fiction story by Margaret Campbell Barnes and tells the story of Richard Plantagenet who is the son of The Black Prince. He is also the nephew of John of Gaunt and grandson of King Edward III.His mother was Joan, Princess of Wales. Richard was crowned king of England at the early age of eleven. During the early years of his reign there was a variety of councils that ruled as a regency. Around 1380-1381 Richard pla...
  • Rebecca Hill
    Richard II came to the throne when he was still a minor, and under the influence of his uncles. After years of chaffing under their rule, and wanting to strike out on his own, he gets the chance. But the flames of revenge burn bright in his mind. He has been slighted, belittled, and little thought of unless completely needed for a signature. When Richard married Anne of Bohemia, she falls completely in love with him, and he with her. After her de...
  • Patty
    I enjoyed this book. I have to admit to not knowing much about Richard II before I started but now I want to know more. Richard was just 11 when his father died and then 15 when his grandfather died leaving him King at a very young age. He only had glimpses of what it was like to be a child. He was the last of the manly, warring Plantagenet line and he was remarkably a peace maker despite the best efforts of his uncles.He married young and his ma...
  • Kate
    This book discusses the reign of King Richard II. It starts with the death of his father when he was a child, leaving him as King. His three uncles effectively take over the running of the country and Richard is left trying to fight for his right to rule. Eventually Richard manages this but it does not really happen until he is 22 and old enough to take the crown on his own. For a few years he had a peaceful rule, which after the wars of his fore...
  • TAS
    Although I usually love the historical novels of the late Margaret Campbell Barnes, this one wasn't a favorite. It's a coming of age story about England's King Richard II who comes to the throne as a boy and struggles against his powerful and jealous uncles to assume the power of the throne. In this story, Richard is a sympathetic character (not the way he is usually portrayed) longing to do right but misunderstood by his powerful relatives and m...
  • Claire
    "Are you sure you want to mark this book as finished?" Finito... beh se così si può dire quando uno legge l'ultima riga perché non ha neanche la voglia di leggere tutta l'ultima pagina da quanto era noioso il libro.Gli do due stelline perché non mi sembrerebbe onesto dargliene una avendo letto duecento pagine sulle 330, ma ho capito l'idea centrale che il povero Riccardo II non ha mai fatto niente di male ed è tutta colpa di Bolingbroke. Uh,...
  • Lin
    Six months ago I tried to read this book and abandoned it, I'm really pleased I decided to pick it up again. The much maligned Richard II is given a new life. There are so many what if's to consider. What if his father had have died when Richard was older, what if his uncles where not so grasping and power hungry. What if Anne of Bohemia had have lived. Richard was a peaceful man forced to rule in a war-mad society, if you were not a warrior you ...
  • Sabrina
    This is my first book on Richard II and I'm glad I started off with an author who is sympathetic to him. It kinda makes it easier for me to then read a biography or the more popular counter version of an ineffective or tyrant ruler. First the sweet then the bad and sometime in between the balance.************************What a sad, sad life for the most part. Aside from being with his wife, when was this King ever happy? I noticed that the author...