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Publisher's Summary

Holding power for over 50 years starting in 1327, Edward III was one of England's most influential kings and one who shaped the course of English history. Revered as one of the country's most illustrious leaders for centuries, he was also a usurper and a warmonger who ordered his uncle beheaded. A brutal man, to be sure, but also a brilliant one.

Noted historian Ian Mortimer offers us the first comprehensive look at the life of Edward III. The Perfect King was often the instigator of his own drama but also overthrew tyrannous guardians as a teenager and ushered in a period of chivalric ideals. Mortimer traces how Edward's reforms made feudal England a thriving, sophisticated country and one of Europe's major military powers. Ideal for anyone fascinated by medieval history, this book provides new insight into Edward III's lasting influence on the justice system, artistic traditions, language, and architecture of the country.

©2014 Ian Mortimer (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[This book] deserves to be widely read." ( Sunday Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Fantastic biography

This is a great biography of Edward III. The author does a fantastic job of exploring the 14th century king. The book is presented in chronological order, but when circumstances demand it he explores topics in depth and offers his own analysis. The end of the book seems a little rushed, as though the author was really only interested in Edward III through age 50 or so.

I was previously only familiar with Ian Mortimer from his Time travelers book. Edward III: The Perfect King, is much more academic in nature. He spends a lot of time discussing Edward II and his research into his alleged death. It is very interesting and I plan to dig into Ian's book on Roger Mortimer where he spends more time presenting the information.

Alex Wyndham does a solid job with difficult material with good pace.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book about Edward III

If you could sum up Edward III in three words, what would they be?

Brilliant
Enlightening
Enthralling

What was one of the most memorable moments of Edward III?

When Edward III took matters into his own hands and took his Kingdom back.

What about Alex Wyndham’s performance did you like?

I love this mans voice. He could read to me about why dirt is brown and I'd listen

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really... It was sad to see Edward transition from the strong, clever king to a feeble old man.

Any additional comments?

This is my first time having the pleasure of enjoying Mr. Mortimer.I was immediately enthralled by his story of the illustrious Edward III. I've always liked Edward III and had a soft spot for him due to the wrongs dealt to him by Roger and Isabella. However, his stock went up in my book after listening to this book. He was everything a medieval king should be; clever, charismatic, ruthless and a strong leader on and off the field.

Mr. Mortimer also made me think about Edward II and if he truly died when history said he did. My mind was made up; he died, I'm not sure what killed him but he died when they said he did. After listening to his very CONVINCING arguments (especially those about what Mortimer gained by lying about Edward the II death and the implications to Edward III), I have a lot to think about and research.

I really enjoyed the fresh perspective on Edward III, Edward II mysterious death and the politics of the time period. Bravo!

Alex Wyndham is the narrator so it's a given that it's awesome. I've listened to him in historical romance and this narration proves he can do historical non-fiction just as well as fiction. He's perfect!

5 stars for the story and narration.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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5 stars simple as that

Great book from start to finish, lots of detail and story. You can really see where Game of Thrones gets a lot of its material from.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Eddie
  • Memphis, TN, United States
  • 01-25-17

Excellent!!!

excellent content, excellent narration. Well researched with a valid justification for Edward II "non-murder.". I'll be listening to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Quite the apologist.

I liked the book. A bit controversial. I can't imagine Edward II not getting his throne back, or even attempting it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing, and a little odd

I like Ian Mortimer, his books are interesting and humorous. This one, not so much. This is odd considering the subject. No matter what you think of Edward the Third, he certainly wasn't boring, maybe because there was little new here and the writing lacked the humor and irony I associate with Mortimer's writing. The bizarre thing is his pet theory that Edward the Second wasn't murdered in Berkely Castle. This isn't a new theory, but this fact plays way too much a part of this story. He doesn't even tell you why he feels so strongly about that other than to lead you to a paper he published in an academic journal. I read the paper, I am unconvinced. Thinking that Edward the Second would have had the good sense to actually escape armed guard and wander around Europe for twenty years as a penniless monk is ludicrous. He did not have good sense, common sense, or any at all or he would not have lost the throne. However, that has little to do with Edward the Third, which is the point I was trying to make about this book, the theory plays way too much a part in this book.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Author is too fond of his subject.

What did you like best about Edward III? What did you like least?

The author has all the detail right (he is a renowned historian after all).

BUT - he totally lets Edward off the hook for his many barbaric acts of cruelty in France. He's happy to hold other figures accountable for lesser terrors though.

And GOODNESS he pushes his theory on Edward II REALLY hard and dismisses anyone who doesn't agree with it. It doesn't appear to matter to him that lots of people had seen the body.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating read!

My husband is so glad I’ve finished this book! It’s all I’ve talked about for weeks, and now we BOTH feel as if we really know Edward III, not just as an historical figure, but as a real human being.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Confusing

I love Ian Mortimer's work but this biography was very muddled. Mortimer is usually so deft at bringing history to life and breaking down complicated swathes of history into a readily appreciated narrative, but this is the exception.

Narrator couldn't do anything more with it, unfortunately.

I would not recommend.

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  • Ed
  • 08-22-18

Edward III

Mortimer’s biography of King Edward III is a meticulously researched and thoroughly enjoyable book.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in English royalty.