Store cupboard of quotes – week 9 Some Plantagenet monarchs

Dan Jones is a leading historian who has written several books about the Plantagenets. The Hollow Crown is a Sunday Times best seller and his book The Plantagenets: the Kings who made England is a must have for anyone with an interest in medieval England. In these quotes who is he writing about.

  1. “…………sent instructions to the royal servant Hubert de Burgh, who was serving as Arthur’s jailer, demanding that he should blind and castrate his prisoner.”
  2. “Had ……………… been richer, less beset by other problems and a more competent military strategist, securing Sicily for his second son might have resembled the masterful pan-European geopoliticking in which his grandfather Henry II might have specialised. Unfortunately, he was none of those things. He was a naive fantasist with a penchant for schemes.”
  3. “………… was, as one contemporary chronicler put it, “the man against whom no one could prevail except God himself.” The fourth son of William the Conqueror, he enjoyed an exceptionally long, peaceful, and prosperous reign of thirty-five years, in which royal authority in England reached new heights. After his father’s death in 1087, England and Normandy had been split apart. …………. ruthlessly reunited them.”
  4. The Holland family traced their own royal ancestry through …………. sister Elizabeth. In January 1444 the most senior Holland, John, earl of Huntingdon, was promoted to duke of Exeter, with precedence over all other dukes except for York—another elevation specifically credited to his closeness in blood to the king. John Holland died in August 1447, and his son Henry Holland eventually succeeded to his duchy.” 
  5. “Pope Pius II, watching England from afar, would later describe ……….. in this phase of his life as “a man more timorous than a woman, utterly devoid of wit or spirit, who left everything in his wife’s hands.”
  6. While …………… was accustomed to fighting on foot, Warwick was said by one chronicler to prefer to run with his men into battle before mounting on horseback, “and if he found victory inclined to his side, he charged boldly among them; if otherwise he took care of himself in time and provided for his escape.” 
  7. “….. had been the first nobleman north of the Alps to take the Cross in Autumn 1187. His departure to the Holy Land had been delayed almost two years by his quarrel with his father.”
  8. “He had the Plantagenet temper in perhaps the most potent form. It is said that in a fit of rage …………. once literally frightened a man to death.”
  9. and 10. Perhaps most surprising of all, the deposed and imprisoned King Henry was not murdered. This had been the fate of the two Plantagenet kings who had lost their crowns before him: ………………..died while in custody at Berkeley Castle in 1327, while …………………….was killed at Pontefract in 1400, the year following his deposition. Ironically, Henry’s survival was perhaps a mark of his uniquely pitiful and ineffectual approach to kingship—for it was much harder to justify killing a man who had done nothing evil or tyrannical, but had earned his fate thanks to his dewy-eyed simplicity. Permitting Henry to remain alive was a bold decision that Edward IV would come to regret. But in 1465 it must have struck the king as a brave and magnanimous act.” 

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