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Publisher's Summary

The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights. This is the era of chivalry, Robin Hood, and the Knights Templar, the era of the Black Death, the Black Prince, the founding of Parliament, and the Hundred Years’ War.

©2012 Daniel Jones (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Dan Jones’ The Plantagenets is outstanding. Majestic in its sweep, compelling in its storytelling, this is narrative history at its best. A thrilling dynastic history of royal intrigues, violent skullduggery, and brutal warfare across two centuries of British history." (Simon Sebag Montefiore, New York Times best-selling author)
"The Plantagenets played a defining part in shaping the nation of England, and Dan Jones tells their fascinating story with wit, verve, and vivid insight. This is exhilarating history - a fresh and gloriously compelling portrait of a brilliant, brutal, and bloody-minded dynasty." (Helen Castor, prize-winning author of She-Wolves)
"This is history at its most epic and thrilling. I would defy anyone not to be right royally entertained by it." (Tom Holland, prize-winning author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Vicki
  • Montpelier, VA, United States
  • 04-30-16

Probably a good book but ruined by poor narration

I really wanted to enjoy this book but the narration is so bad that this book is only good for insomnia. I'll get the paper version of this one to read.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Well written history of the best English Dynasty!

Would you listen to The Plantagenets again? Why?

I would. Even though it only goes through Henry IV, it brings such detail to their lives. I loved the understanding it gave me on their lives and reigns. Excellent history.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Eleanor of Aquitane and also John. My husband is related to these two and the story made John more human than any other book I have ever read about him. He really helped the poorer people and it was the wealthy barons who hated him. I think it was a case of the winners re-writing history again.

Have you listened to any of Clive Chafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't think so. He has a fine voice and is an excellent narrator for a history of this type.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I wanted to savor it and take the kings and queens a little at a time. That way I remember more of their individuality.

Any additional comments?

I love a great history book and was thrilled with this one. The Plantagenets lived over sized lives on a world stage. Wonderful!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Tedious

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The book was about killing, killing, killing. There must have been other interesting information about the success of these Plantagenets. Did they bring any architecture, medicine, science, government, policy, law, anything besides killing to the time period and to the English kingdom? This book was mostly about territories that would become part of France. It was repetitive, as was apparently, according to the author, the Plantagenets reign. Loose territory, gain the territory back only to loose it again. Tedious.

Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Jones again?

Probably Not.

What three words best describe Clive Chafer’s performance?

Ok.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

I finally gave up and did not even finish listening this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Gossipy Account of a Time That Rates No Better

The book was too gossipy for my taste (though I'm glad I stuck it out - it was an interesting window into the time), and I mainly wondered if the mentalities back then were really that bad, or if the author was simply focusing on that aspect (focused on conquest, wealth, and glory rather than the survival of higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe) (but then how could they have been so enlightened?) since it made the best gossip. I concluded that the mentalities were truly that bad, and the author had focused on the actual mental deliberations (no matter how vain or monstrous) behind the significant events of each king's reign.

The book makes one wondered if anything truly significance came from that time (other than plots, murder, and mass slaughter that made for good action movies), and I reflected back on my foray into other aspects of history, and I realized that there are now (with so many good historians) many histories to explore. For example, I recently explored the history of music which went through that time, and the history of the world in six drinks, to give you other focuses. None as world-shaking (usually in a destructive way) as the history of Kings (who we would now regard as having primitive mindframes), but no less fascinating. The Black Knight was especially tragic for me, as I could see his motivations (mainly honor) within the limits of his primitive mindframe (which reflected the primitive mindframe of the time among his peers).

I think this line from Richard II to the English commoners sums it up, "You are our subjects, and we will do everything in our power to keep you subjugated!" Good grief. Thomas Paine would have drawn a lot of material from this book for his "Common Sense".







1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Everything you want to know about the Plantagenets and more, muuuuch more.

This book just never grabbed my interest. There were lots of facts, but they just were not presented in a made me want to hear more. I did make it through to the end and it did help me get better sleep so three stars for that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I enjoyed the history and the character voices.

Narrator was quite good and the history was told in a way to keep it interesting

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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interesting and Enlivened

enjoyed the well balanced treatment of the good and the bad kings - story seemed to come alive at some points

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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triumphalistic and uncritical

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the author had relied on more than traditional matchmaking. The language is too fulsome and biased; the views aRE HACKNEYED AND WOULD NOT EVEN BE APPROPRIATE FOR A HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL NARRATIVE HISTOREY

Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Jones again?

PROBABLY NOT

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clive Chafer?

I m indifferent to the narrator who does his best with what he has

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Plantagenets?

Among the many issues I would reexamine would be the hero worshipping treatment of king Richard who, after all, is also responsible--along with john--with ensuing problems

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional Plantagenet Book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Just a good read. Great information. Well developed and presented.

What did you like best about this story?

He broke down different periods of Plantagenet rule that have been covered extensively before, with a perspective and clarity that is refreshing.The period with Stephen and Matilda was particularly good.

Any additional comments?

There were a few things that got glossed over, like Edward II but overall it was exceptional.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Information

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Well worth listening to because the book is packed with factual information about the Plantagenet kings. It's a history lesson and straightened out the whole thing for me by having them one after another and putting them in context. I'm on to read his book on the War of the Roses now.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The voice of narrator is monotonous and rhythmically lulling. I would imagine he sounds better to British ears, but to American ears he is hard to attend. I forced myself because the subject was so interesting, but it was not the most pleasant experience I have had with an audiobook.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful