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Henry II, Curtmantle
Suggested Reading



England and Its Rulers, 1066-1272: With an Epilogue on Edward I (1272-1307)
(M. T. Clanchy)
England and its Rulers has established itself as an attractive and authoritative account of English history from 1066. It brings the chronicle sources to life and makes original assessments of the kings and political events. Examining a period in which England was dominated by successive waves of foreign rulers, the book emphasizes how the Norman Conquest was followed by the Angevin Empire and then by the Poitevin ministers and favorites brought in by King John and Henry III. The identity of English culture is analyzed in the light of these strong external influences.This new edition retains the characteristics of the widely-acclaimed original, but it now includes an epilog on Edward I (1272-1307), which considers his wars in Wales and Scotland and reassesses his character and achievements. The second edition also contains a new bibliography covering all aspects of English history in the period 1066-1307.

Henry II
(W. L. Warren)
Henry II (11331189) was an enigma in his own time and has continued to excite widely divergent judgments ever since. His quarrel with Archbishop Becket, his troubled relationships with his sons and with his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and other dramatic incidents of his reign present rich material for historical novelists, playwrights, and filmmakers, but with no unanimity of interpretation. This masterful biography provides a comprehensive reappraisal of Henry II, the man and king. W. L. Warren explores a full range of contemporary sources to illuminate the king's policy and personality as well as the events of his reign.Henry II's greatness as a king is not in doubt. From an early age he impressed his will on a turbulent realm and established new standards of law and order in seemingly ungovernable territories. He fought and won the first great war over the balance of power in western Europe, laid the foundations for the growth of English Common Law and of royal administration, and destroyed the possibility that the realm might disintegrate into feudal principalities. Warren focuses on the actions of the king and, while not underrating the importance of the famous crises of Henry's reign, gives equal attention to incidents that are little-known but equally revealing

Henry Plantagenet : A Biography of Henry II of England
(Richard Barber)
Henry II is the most imposing figure among the medieval kings of England. His fiefs and domains extended from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, and his court was frequented by the greatest thinkers and men of letters of his time, besides ambassadors from all over Europe. This readable and accessible biography offers both a study of his character, and an estimate of his work as a ruler, work which is in a sense the history of his life, since it occupied his entire energies from his accession at the age of twenty-one to his death thirty-five years later. Nor is this the mere routine of government; from the desolate and lawless anarchy of Stephen's reign, and against the opposition of the great magnates and the Church, he built in England a stable and prosperous realm, and welded his diverse inheritance overseas into a single, and by the standards of the time, peaceful, unit. Only the folly of John dispersed his empire, and his work in England left an enduring mark on the institutions by which we are governed today.RICHARD BARBER's other books include Tournaments, with Juliet Barker, Edward Prince of Wales and Aquitaine, The Life and Campaigns of the Black Prince, The Knight and Chivalry and books on King Arthur; he is currently working on a study of the legend of the Holy Grail. 1154-1189

Restoration and Reform, 1153-1165 : Recovery from Civil War in England (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series)
(Graeme J. White, Rosamond McKitterick (Series Editor), Christine Carpenter (Series Editor), Jonathan Shepard (Series Editor))
This book, covering the close of Stephen's reign (1135-54) and the early phase of Henry II's (1154-89), examines the government of England in the aftermath of civil war. It suggests that the extent of "anarchy" under Stephen has been exaggerated and that there was much administrative continuity from one reign to the next. Previous studies of Henry II's government have often neglected his earliest years, but here there is a reassessment of the significance of financial and judicial measures during 1163-65, as "restoration" gave way to "reform."

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