Author(s): Richard Barber
Henry II (1154-89) through a series of astonishing dynastic coups became the ruler of an enormous European empire. One of the most dynamic, restless and clever men ever to rule England, he was brought down both by his catastrophic relationship with his archbishop Thomas Becket and his debilitating arguments with his sons, most importantly the future Richard I and King John. His empire may have ultimately collapsed, but in Richard Barber's vivid and sympathetic account the reader can see why Henry II left such a compelling impression on his contemporaries.
"Barber . . . demonstrates a gift for lucid, lively prose and an ability to make highly complex developments cutting across religion, literature and politics both immediate and accessible. . . . Engaging reading as both literary criticism and cultural history, thanks largely to the author's fluency and aplomb as a writer." "New York Times "on "The Holy Grail""
Richard Barber has written for Penguin The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe, The Holy Grail and Edward III and the Triumph of England. He is a major figure in medieval studies, both as a writer and as a publisher.