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A book for those who like storytelling and aren t too worried about accuracy or invention As a kid, I loved Costain s historical fiction, THE BLACK ROSE, and as a traveler found novels like RIDE WITH ME, BELOW THE SALT and THE SILVER CHALICE fitting the bill for railroad cars, airport waiting rooms and hotels in hot countries where you don t go out during the day and the television is not in English if there s a TV at all I ve worked my way through the first two of The Plantagenet series under similar circumstances easy to read, easy to pickup or put down, than a little inspirational to actually read a factual account of the events described So those are the parameters Start with Book 1 and go on to 2 and 3 don t put too much reliance on their interpretation of events and enjoy. Not quite as good as The Conquerors, but it s not the author s fault that Henry III wasn t the character his father and grandfather were Still a wonderful story, I learned an awful lot about the 13th century. Read By David CaseGenre HistoryPublisher Books on TapeSeries Name The Pageant of EnglandPosition in Series 2Abridged NoBook Description Blurb THE MAGNIFICENT CENTURY, the second volume of Costain s A History of the Plantagenets, covers Henry III s long and turbulent reign, from 1216 to 1272 During his lifetime Henry was frequently unpopular, unreliable and inconsistent, yet his reign saw spectacular advancement in the arts, sciences and theology, as well as in government Despite all, it was truly a magnificent century. This is a great place to begin if you want to get all the facts from the PLANTAGENET S FAMILY you will understand what you are reading I would say this is great for ones starting out as it is easy to follow and isn t a dry read for a non fiction But for those with experience there isn t anything really NEW that you wouldn t already know but it it was fun to hear it all again like a quick refresher course LOL A lively account of the events and individuals active during the 13th century, centering around England and its ruler, Henry III From his turbulent regency to the rage engendered by Henry s mood swings, his lovely, yet unpopular queen, and a detailed, tragic retelling of the uprising of Simon de Montfort, this book brings to life the major players during this time and in other parts of the world, whose actions had an impact on England Certain details weren t included in this, certain personalities weren t fleshed out which hoped would be during Henry s regency, which disappointed me The rise and fall of Simon de Montfort, however, was vivid in its magnificent relation Costain has a talent for taking figures maligned by history, giving them an almost romantic flush of sympathy, while sticking to the facts as he knows them I found myself emphasizing and grieving for de Montfort, even while the rational side of my brain warned me that less flattering facts were being glossed over Henry III was depicted in accusing, unsympathetic detail The truth of Costain s account of Henry I didn t doubt, yet I felt part of Henry s story had been left out Some of the events I d read about Henry s minority in another history volume involving Peter des Roches and Falkes de Br aut , which I was really hoping would be offered in detail in this book were missing Those moments might have illuminated and enriched Henry s character, offering another dimension to it, along with a reason for his often irrational loathing of certain powerful contemporaries of his Despite those missing scenes, this historical account was powerful, exciting, and brought 12th century England to life through its players It s well worth reading. This is history that reads like a novel. A lively account of the events and individuals active during the 13th century, centering around England and its ruler, Henry III From his turbulent regency to the rage engendered by Henry s mood swings, his lovely, yet unpopular queen, and a detailed, tragic retelling of the uprising of Simon de Montfort, this book brings to life the major players during this time and in other parts of the world, whose actions had an impact on England Certain details weren t included in this, certain personalities weren t fleshed out which hoped would be during Henry s regency, which disappointed me The rise and fall of Simon de Montfort, however, was vivid in its magnificent relation Costain has a talent for taking figures maligned by history, giving them an almost romantic flush of sympathy, while sticking to the facts as he knows them I found myself emphasizing and grieving for de Montfort, even while the rational side of my brain warned me that less flattering facts were being glossed over Henry III was depicted in accusing, unsympathetic detail The truth of Costain s account of Henry I didn t doubt, yet I felt part of Henry s story had been left out Some of the events I d read about Henry s minority in another history volume involving Peter des Roches and Falkes de Br aut , which I was really hoping would be offered in detail in this book were missing Those moments might have illuminated and enriched Henry s character, offering another dimension to it, along with a reason for his often irrational loathing of certain powerful contemporaries of his Despite those missing scenes, this historical account was powerful, exciting, and brought 12th century England to life through its players It s well worth reading. This is the second of Costain s series on the Plantagenets Since this covers the reign of only one of them, and there were ten before giving over to the Tudors, I have a feeling someone s going get scant coverage in the next two books.Regardless, it s a good read It s not for the scholar there are no footnotes Costain is telling a story about a long reigned and disappointing monarch There is a lot of name dropping The reader reads a little of such legends as Willikin of the Weald, Falkes de Br aut , Eustice the Monk and others and maybe would like to learn , but is going to have to look elsewhere William the Marshal, Louis IX, Hubert de Burgh, and especially Simon de Montfort and the future King Edward I are the main guest stars here One does wish the author included a bibliography The book s title comes from Costain s contention that, despite the king s mismanagement and the conflicts it caused, Deare Olde England progressed and prospered or, if not the lot of plain John Goodfellow, the arts and what was started under Magna Charta did He sums this up in Chapter XXIX If the reader also looks carefully, and he doesn t have to read far, there may be the beginning of England s appreciation of seapower. First sentence October 19, 1216 King John was dead.Premise plot The Magnificent Century is the second volume in Thomas B Costain s history of the Plantagenets The first volume is The Conquering Family.The first volume focused mainly on the royal family itself over several generations centuries The second volume has a much broader yet narrower focus Narrower in that it just covers the reign of one king, Henry III Broader in that it goes way beyond the royal family History Religion Science Architecture Politics King vs Parliament Wars Costain believes the thirteenth century to be a MAGNIFICENT century In this volume, readers learn about Henry III and his family, the Marshal family, Hubert de Burgh, Simon de Montfort, and Roger Bacon.My thoughts I was less familiar with this time period I was not equally interested in ALL the chapters The chapters on war and civil war confused me a bit I m not sure if that s because war interests me less than other subjects of if Costain s narrative was unclear Either is possible.My absolute favorite chapter was probably Queen s Men, King s Men, and the Villain of the Piece Apparently there was a LOT of strife caused in England by the king s extended family Namely Henry III s half brothers who came to England from France AND his in laws Henry s wife was unpopular, but his his wife s family was REALLY unpopular Everyone WANTED something from Henry. `DOWNLOAD KINDLE ↡ The Magnificent Century ↜ THE MAGNIFICENT CENTURY, The Second Volume Of Costain S A History Of The Plantagenets, Covers Henry III S Long And Turbulent Reign, From To During His Lifetime Henry Was Frequently Unpopular, Unreliable And Inconsistent Yet His Reign Saw Spectacular Advancement In The Arts, Sciences And Theology, As Well As In Government Despite All, It Was Truly A Magnificent Century Combines A Love Of The Subject With Factual Historya Great Story San Francisco Chronicle A History Of The Plantagenets Includes THE CONQUERING FAMILY, THE MAGNIFICENT CENTURY, THE THREE EDWARDS And THE LAST PLANTAGENETS