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Publisher's Summary

The talented, confident, and intelligent son of John of Gaunt, Henry IV started his reign as a popular and charismatic king after he dethroned the tyrannical and wildly unpopular Richard II. But six years into his reign, Henry had survived eight assassination and overthrow attempts.

Having broken God's law of primogeniture by overthrowing the man many people saw as the chosen king, Henry IV left himself vulnerable to challenges from powerful enemies about the validity of his reign. Even so, Henry managed to establish the new Lancastrian dynasty and a new rule of law - in highly turbulent times.

In this book, noted historian Ian Mortimer, author of The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan London, explores the political and social forces that transformed Henry IV from his nation's savior to its scourge.

©2014 Ian Mortimer (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[Mortimer] has an instinctive sympathy for the men about whom he writes, a real understanding of the mentalities of late medieval England, and a vivid historical imagination which lends colour and excitement to his pages" ( Literary Review)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Detailed and compelling

Couldn't stop listening to this extraordinary story of a lesser known king. Very nicely read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • 2Ponds
  • Somerset, CA United States
  • 05-30-18

I tried, I really did

Not to put too fine a point on it, but my primary focus is entertainment, not education. That being said I found this to be dry and the delivery to be dryer. To be fair, I don't know how the narrator could have livened this up. He delivered it with textbook pronunciation, and it sounded like a textbook. The whole first chapter completely lost me, I listen to about half of it and all it was, citations of other authors about the characters. As the second chapter motored on, we started to get into some historical characterizations and events. Again, more like a textbook than entertainment for me. I have no doubt this author has amazing knowledge on the subject, I just could not stick with this