The Restless Kings by Nick Barratt

The Restless Kings

'A vivid and humane study of the Plantagenets' diabolical and devious first family - a real joy to read.' Dan Jones, author of The PlantagenetsIn The Restless Kings Nick Barratt presents the tumultuous struggle for supremacy between the first Plantagenet king, Henry II, and his four sons - a drama that tore apart the most powerful family in western Europe and shaped the future of two nations.As well as exploring the personalities and crises facin...

Details The Restless Kings

TitleThe Restless Kings
Release DateJan 15th, 2019
PublisherFaber Faber
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews The Restless Kings

  • Kathryn
    A rather odd and disjointed book which contains only five chapters and an intrduction to cover the reigns of three kings from 1154 to 1216. We start off in the introduction and in the beginning of chapter 1, weirdly enough, with a few pages about the Merovingians and Charlemagne and the nature of the Holy Roman Empire and Aethelred II of England and Harold Godwinson's shipwreck in Normandy in 1064 and quite a bit about William Clito. Chapter 4 is...
  • Blair Hodgkinson
    This history jumps all over the place from endings to beginnings to middle of reign back and forth through the years of Henry II, Richard I and John. In some books that jumping around format would be the kiss of death but Barratt manages it very nicely and produces a very readable study of the reigns of the three "restless kings".
  • Jasmine
    A rather interesting and fascinating read about the Angevin Kings and how they have shaped our modern world. Thoroughly enjoyable
  • Monical
    I picked this book up after rejecting Peter Ackroyd's "Tudors" partly because it was the middle book in his 5 book series, and also because I didn't like his style. I was hoping for more explanation from Barratt's book on Henry II and his sons, but unfortunately that wasn't to be-- even the author (unfortunately at the very end of the book) reports that the book is a commentary and not meant to be a history. He helpfully mentions better history b...
  • Jerome
    A great group biography of Henry II and his family.Barratt does a great job describing the family’s struggle to rule its different Angevin territories (the king of England ruled more French territory than the king of France) and to manage their complex politics, and the differing styles and interests of Henry II, John and Richard. He compares the territory to a commonwealth, and ably describes why Henry’s whole family turned on him and how fo...
  • Tracy Hollander
    While this book was really interesting it was also really hard for me to read. So many people with the same name and moving around in time made it so I would have to re-read parts several times for it to sink in. I will never be able to tell anyone about this book since I feel I’ve come away with just a vague recollection of what I read. Apparently I need the “Restless Kings for Dummies” version. 😬
  • Richard Hakes
    Maybe it's not Barratt's fault but reading 800 year old history is never going to be too detailed or enlightening, the source information is thin. There were not many literate people and what did get recorded was oficial and measured. There is enough to pull the story together but never get to know the characters.
  • Kathryn
    While the chronology was somewhat annoying (in terms of starting each chapter essentially with a spoiler - for example, with Richard being shot and dying at the beginning of the chapter about his reign), I thought that the overall book tells an interesting story. I think that this would be a good introduction to the period and the reigns of the Plantagenet kings for someone looking to get an understanding of that. Overall, enjoyable!
  • Emma Harris
    Absolutely brilliant and really helps give an understanding of the start of the wars of the roses
  • Alex Beath
    4 stars - well written but jumps around and quite hard to follow