The Black Prince: The King That Never Was ePUB ☆

The Black Prince: The King That Never Was As a child he was given his own suit of armour in , at the age ofhe helped defeat the French at Cr cy and inhe captured the king of France at Poitiers For the chronicler Jean Froissart He was the flower of all chivalry for the Chandos Herald, who fought with him on all his campaigns, he was the embodiment of all valour Edward of Woodstock, eldest son and heir of Edward III of England, better known as the Black Prince , was England s pre eminent military leader during the first phase of the Hundred Years War Michael Jones uses a wide range of chronicle and documentary material, including the Prince s own letters and those of his closest followers, to bring to life the dramatic and powerful story of the life and times of the Black Prince , and to paint a memorable portrait of warfare and society in the tumultuous fourteenth century

13 thoughts on “The Black Prince: The King That Never Was

  1. Stephen Cooper Stephen Cooper says:

    Michael Jones was a medievalist who turned modernist, writing several excellent books about the fighting on the Eastern Front during the Second World War but he has now returned to the Middle Ages We should be glad, because this book about the Black Prince 1330 1376 is a first class piece of research, as well being highly readable The narrative sweeps you along, while there is also adequate space for analysis and reflection The book goes way beyond Froissart who once formed the basis of all accounts of the so called Hundred Years War , not least because it makes extensive use of French sources, archival and others It is particularly remarkable for its demolition of the Froissart based myth that the Prince was responsible for slaughtering thousands of innocent civilians at Limoges in 1370 On the other hand, Jones will have nothing to do with Ian Mortimer s eccentric theory that King Edward II was not murdered in Berkeley Castle in 1327 whether by means of a poker placed in the fundament or by other foul means There is much in this book apart from the famous battles and campaigns Cr cy, Poitiers, N jera So, we have the best explanation of why the nickname of the Prince s wife the Fair Maid of Kent was to say the least ironic and we have a moving evocation of the long but luxurious years Queen Isabella spent at Castle Rising But the heart of the book has to be Jones s treatment of the relationship between chivalry and warfare Here, he shows how the two did indeed go hand in hand, because of the importance of leadership and morale, as well as training and discipline the old Roman virtues to extolled by Vegetius, whose book was often read by the medieval military aristocracy To my mind, Jones s is the best description of the chivalric not to say chivalrous way of life that we have and I would rank him above Richard Barber or the late Maurice Keen I also prefer his exciting account of the Black Prince s Raids of 1355 and 1356 to the somewhat clinical but classic account of H.J.Hewitt The description of the Prince s difference of opinion with his father Edward III about the wisdom of intervening in Spain in 1367 was new, to me and it is important Traditionally, the Prince is described as an outstanding general and warrior, but a poor statesman but it turns out that he did not want to intervene in Castile it was his father who did, and was therefore ultimately responsible for the disaster which ensued This changes everything Much as I liked the book, I was left with one Big Question , though it is not one which I would expect the author to have tackled Why is it that one never hears a good word nowadays about the building of the British Empire in the 19th century but we are all still lost in admiration for the courage shown by the Black Prince and by Henry V, in their vain attempts to devastate and conquer France in the Middle Ages Is it because we don t really care what the French think Contrast the hostile views of the Empire, emanating from India, Africa, and elsewhere.

  2. John born 1939 John born 1939 says:

    Sad uncontrollable decline and fall of one the greatest English Warriors due to undiagnosed but fatal ill health.There were only two other Medieval English contestants for greatest knights, greatest exponents of chivalry and greatest Battle Commanders, Sir William the Marshal and Richard the Lionheart Very sad his brave son Richard II was murdered by the Usurper Bolingbroke, aka Henry V, father of Henry V, another failed dynasty Well written and well researched book Couldn t put it down.

  3. Sarah Sarah says:

    This book was so interesting I d heard of the Black Prince that he was the son of Edward iii who never got to the throne, liked to beat the French and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral but that was about it This book takes you thorough the stages of his life, is beautifully written and engaging The battles he undertook from crecy at 16 to najerra when he still did his duty to his father even though you could tell he didn t really believe in the cause were brought to life He seemed principled and fair in the context of the time he lived in, loved his wife and even when left by his father in the lurch a few times was always loyal His friends all seemed to love him and he them Michael Jones really bought this man to life and if only he d lived longer I don t think his son Richard ii would have been so indulged, behaved how he did and eventually overthrown with the aftermath of that leading to civil war Michael Jones I loved this I m now off to read your book on Agincourt.

  4. Sophie Sophie says:

    With the rediscovered interest in Richard III of late, the story of one of his most likeliest role models has possibly become somewhat neglected Michael s biography has cast new light into the darkness around the Black Prince so the greatness of his story and era can be relived again.A well researched and moving account of a man of dedication, bravery, triumph and tragedy Another medieval figure clouded by contemporaries, Michael has done sterling work to analyse the man s known character and facts in order to rule out the myths.A fitting portrait for one of of England s true greats A must read for any medieval fan.

  5. Queen of Herts Queen of Herts says:

    This is a very readable biography of an interesting historical figure The Black Prince is famous as the victor of the battles of Crecy and Poitiers, but this book presents a rounded picture of a man who died before he could become king The book has been researched thoroughly and contemporary sources are evaluated carefully in how they reflect mediaeval beliefs and customs, yet the prose is light and clear The author sets the Black Prince in the context of his times, and presents useful background where required to understand the period and possible motivations underlying characters actions Conflicting accounts are sifted and compared against each other and the author presents convincing arguments to support his choice of which he believes A very engaging read and I enjoyed this biography of one of the lesser known figures of the Plantagenet era Recommended.

  6. LoveCats LoveCats says:

    Understandably there is often a dearth of information on many historical figures The Black Prince being one The first half of the book has very little about him The author tries his best to fit the life of the prince into a brief general history of his father Edward III So if you are familiar with the period you will be left wondering when you are going to read something new The second half is better and becomes focused on the man himself Overall, good but perseverance required if you have some understanding of the 1300 s.

  7. Jacob la Cour Jacob la Cour says:

    This is the best book about the 100 years war that I have read It is simple in language, rapid in pace, does not go in too much detail with minor events, and all quotes from original sources is written in modern English A delight to read

  8. Alison Stock Alison Stock says:

    I didn t get too far into this book so I can t write a full review I found it very unprofessionally written I didn t know anything about the author before buying, and now I can see I should have done some research on him Even reading other peoples reviews would have helped newspaper reviews call the book pacy and thrilling etc Hmmm that s not usually how I like to read my history like its serialised in The Sun This book is exactly like that No foot notes, so you can t tell how much is conjecture or supposition of purely salacious imagination It s dreadful You might well come out knowing than before you went in but how much of it is true Who can tell Thumbs down.

  9. Kindle Customer Kindle Customer says:

    The detail IA excellent, the narrative flows well I rend this book for the love of history.

  10. Mejcolorado Mejcolorado says:

    Or precisely, Michael Jones had me at I walk into Canterbury Cathedral For of course every story of the Black Prince should begin with a visit to his tomb.And what a wonderful story Michael Jones tells about the flower of chivalry of all the world As a writer of historical fiction that spans this time period, I do so love the Black Prince for his life seems like such a perfect metaphor for fortune s wheel The Prince rose to such incomparable heights and then as the wheel continued its inexorable turning, he and England along with him began the inevitable descent Michael Jones lays out the life of the Black Prince in lively prose which is backed up by contemporary chronicles, as well as impeccable research The result, however, is never boring Perhaps partially because the lives of the Prince and his father cannot help but read like the stuff of great novels not to mention morality plays.There is so much to unpack in this compelling biography and I m sure it has been done well by professional reviewers so I ll just offer a few of my impressions First of all, all of these characters, from Edward III to John Chandos to the Prince and his archers, are so irresistibly human That is a tribute to Jones s writing I was struck by the closeness of Edward III to his wife and children From the beginning with the Prince he is like a lion with his cub, guiding and showing the Prince by example how to lead the kingdom that he will someday rule in his own right From early childhood, when other boys are playing with marbles and spinning tops, the Prince is made the guardian of England on orders of his father when Edward III is across the channel It also seemed that Edward III and his son took great joy in battle and were excellent military commanders Though such exuberant tactics as laying waste to France caused untold heartache to the poor French who had to endure the English chevauchees The king learned from his early mistakes against the Scots and later adjusted his tactics Particularly touching is when he sends his sixteen year old son to do battle at Crecy and refuses to intervene when the Prince is overwhelmed But then, behaving like a father, he breaks his own rule and sends help Only to have the Prince, who had been knocked unconscious, come back to lead his men to victory.The great campaigns, both land and sea, are detailed in exciting fashion, made poignant because we know what is going to happen Orson Welles said, If you want a happy ending, it depends on when you end your story Unfortunately, we cannot end Edward III s reign when he is England s beloved Arthur and the victor of battle after battle Nor with the Prince when his physical strength is nearly superhuman, but when he is ravaged by the illness that finally ended his life.There have been many fictional portrayals of the Prince, a few that have pictured him as rather an effete, snobbish, clueless commander I always found those insulting Jones makes it very clear that the Prince was a man of strong character and one who perfectly suited the concept of chivalry He was generous to a fault, which was one of the reasons he was perpetually in debt But a great knight must be known for his largesse I was particularly impressed by his concern for his archers, all those common men who made England s victories possible And of course Edward III, who so understood the effectiveness of the longbow that he ordered his yeomen to practice every Sunday It is estimated that it took a decade to be an expert archer Both Edwards realized that their yeomen were their secret weapon Glorious days for Englandand then of course fortune s wheel took its turn.From my reading I shaped the Prince as a great military tactician and warrior but not so much an administrator Jones disagrees and has the research to back up his claims In the Prince s dealings with Gascony, he had a clearer head than his father, who was by then sliding into senility Their disagreement over that and Edward III s miscalculations around the Najera campaign, led to an estrangement that only ended on the Prince s death bed.Jones effectively debunks the truth of Limoges, the stain on the Black Prince s record The account of massive slaughter after the taking of the town, is only related by Froissart, never the most reliable of chroniclers Recent evidence has reinforced the fact that the Prince, in his last campaign, behaved fairly and within the rules of war I was also curious as to whether, early in THE BLACK PRINCE, when detailing the horrible last days of Edward II, Jones would mention historian Ian Mortimer s alternative hypothesis, that Edward II did not die at Berkeley Castle, but survived, lived many years and was most likely in touch with his son, Edward III Jones does not Could be because Mortimer s take is not accepted though Mortimer is another excellent historian who writes like a novelist and is so much fun to read And wouldn t it be nice to believe that Edward II enjoyed a few years as an ordinary fellow, as he often longed to beFinally, I was particularly touched by the last year of the Black Prince s life when he was largely confined to his bed Such humiliation, such embarrassment Yet Edward, as was befitting a great knight, was deeply religious, and seemed to accept it all with the grace for which he was known As the French re took so many of the lands the Prince and his father had won and the Prince s first born son died in a plague, both men worried that God had turned His back on England Still, the Prince never seemed to grow bitter He never wallowed in self pity Rather, just as he d done during all his campaigns, the Black Prince faced his fate with humility And always with bravery As Jones writes, for men like the prince the highest form of courage was to scorn death rather than fear it No wonder The Black Prince was known as the flower of chivalry.Thank you, Michael Jones, for reminding us that if one is looking for a knight nonpareil, we need look no further than Edward the Black Prince.

  11. Amanbir Singh Grewal Amanbir Singh Grewal says:

    One of the best books that I have read for anyone into history Contains superb details about Campaigns in France along with some significant detailing about budgets and expenditure Recommended for all students of English history.

  12. pmcmil2000 pmcmil2000 says:

    Loved the spiritual journey and prayers

  13. maria g elorduy maria g elorduy says:

    Great book I am living it wonderful writer.

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