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Henry III. The Son of Magna Carta

2016 is the 800th anniversary of the accession of Henry the Young King's nephew Henry III to the throne. There has been little written about Henry's life, although the lives and careers of the key figures of his reign such as William Marshal and Simon de Montfort have been discussed many times in numerous publications. Our friend Darren Baker, the author of With All for All: The Life of Simon de Montfort is currently working on a biography of Henry III. Before his book is out, however, we would like to recommend the biography of Henry III by Matthew Lewis.
Matthew Lewis is an author and historian with particular interest in the medieval period. His books include history of the Wars of the Roses, a biography of Richard, 3rd Duke of York and two novels of historical fiction. As we are reading, his biography of Henry offers a look at the period from a different perspective. Sounds interesting. Even more so, when we look at the introduction:
"Henry III became King of England wi…

The Lens of History: Guest Post by Author Mark Richard Beaulieu

Today I am delighted to welcome author Mark Richard Beaulieu to the blog. He has kindly agreed to share his thoughts and impressions about Henry the Young King biography by Professor Matthew Strickland, with a particular regard to Henry the Young King's marriage.
The Lens of History
The upbringing of Lord Henry, the son who would struggle to succeed King Henri II, proves grounds to contrast the method of writing a historical biography with the method of researching a historical recreation of a life. The many sources Kasia cites in her distinguished blog of the Young King, underly my series about Eleanor of Aquitaine. The latest and greatest source of her advocacy on Henry is Professor Matthew Strickland’s definitive “Henry the Young King 1155-1183,” 472 pages of which 145 pages are notes, bibliography and index. It is excellent reading and written with some vivid verbs. In my writing, I care as much about history as understanding how people come to be, and of course, I allow Henry …

Fornham Revisited

‘[The earl of Leicester] … came with his army to a place near St Edmund’s, which is known as Fornham, situated on a piece of marshy ground, not far from the church of St Genevive. On his arrival being known, the earl, with a considerable force, and Humphrey de Bohun with three hundred knights, soldiers of the king, went forth armed for battle to meet the earl of Leicester, carrying before them the banner of St Edmund the king and martyr as their standard' (The Annals of Roger de Hoveden, p. 375)               Bury St Edmunds. Abbey Gate, rebuilt in the 14th century. Photo courtesy of Rambling Man (wikipedia.org)
Yesterday marked the 843rd anniversary of the Battle of Fornham, one of the most decisive battles of Henry II's reign. I posted about the momentous events of 17 October 1173 a few years ago, but in the light of what Professor Strickland writes about it in his Henry the Young King biography it is hard not to mention this severe blow to Henry the Young King's cause yet…

950 Years after Hastings...

“A fatal day for England, a melancholy havoc for our dear country brought about by its passing under the dominion of new lords”. Since these "new lords" mentioned by William of Malmesbury were Henry the Young King's ancestors it is hard not to mention them on this memorable day when the most famous battle in English history was fought and Henry the Young King's great-great-grandfather emerged victorious from it. We are well aware that had Duke William lost there would have been no Henry the Young King, no Richard Coeur de Lion, no Geoffrey of Brittany and our blog would have never come into existence, still we cannot help it and our hearts go for those behind the shield wall on Senlac Hill and for their King. Hopefully, our Liege will forgive us this one day transgression :) There are a few interesting articles about the battle itself and its main participants we would like to recommend. Firstly, a detailed description of what happened on 14 October 1066 icluding part…

'An Act Without Example in this Kingdom': Samuel Daniel on Henry the Young King's Coronation

Two months have passed since my copy of Henry the Young King biography by Professor Matthew Strickland arrived and I think it is a high time to make my reflections and thoughts into a series of posts.
Since I did not realize that Samuel Daniel, poet and historian closely associated with the court of King James I of England and Queen Anne of Denmark, discussed Henry's life and career in his Collection of the History of England (1618) - deep gratitude towards Professor Strickland for bringing it to my attention - let me begin with Henry's reputation and how he was remembered and perceived back in the 17th century, for as it turns out,  he was not utterly forgotten at the time.                                         Henry Frederick c. 1610 by Robert Peake the Elder (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Daniel's work dedicated to the royal couple, especially the part in which he reflected on the career of Henry II's eldest surviving son and heir, must have  - as Professor Strckland points…

Queen Eleanor's Sense of Sorrow. A Guest Post about Eleanor of Aquitaine's Reactions to The Young King's Death

Today I am delighted to welcome my friend Ulrik Kristiansen with the last installment of his four-part Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry the Young King series, in which he is going to discuss the mother's reaction to the sad tidings about the untimely death of her second-born son. Over to you, Ulrik...
Finally I can share with you my last post about Eleanor and Henry the Young’s relation. You can read the first three posts  here, here and here.
You readers know of course that Henry the Young King met his untimely end in the summer of 1183, only 28 years old. He died of dysentery whilst campaigning once again against his estranged father, King Henry II. In this post I’ll try to see that sad event from the perspective of his mother, Queen Eleanor, who still at the time was in custody (imprisoned, if you will) at Salisbury Castle in England, due to her participation in the failed 1173-rebellion against Henry II.

You can read two excellent posts by Kasia about the last days of The Young Kin…