Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty

Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty

The Plantagenets

DVD - 2015
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Award-winning journalist and historian Dan Jones, an expert on the Middle Ages, tells this story. These four episodes will reveal a fresh perspective on the turbulent times that shaped history and Britain.
Publisher: Silver Spring, MD : Athena, c2015
ISBN: 9781621724209
1621724204
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (3 hrs., 8 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Plantagenets

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a
AQUILEA777
Oct 06, 2018

Familiar, fairly well done lives of selected Angevin ("Plantagenet") rulers in four episodes: (1) Henry II's problems with Becket and Henry's sons (2) Henry III & Simon de Montfort (3) Edward II, Gaveston, Lancaster, the Despensers, Isabella and Roger Mortimer (4) Richard II and Bolingbroke. (Henry II was badly misportrayed in the film BECKET. Edward II was well-dramatized by Marlowe, and Richard II by Shakespeare. Beware well-meant but muddled prior comment.)
--- The best episode is No. 3, Edward II. Keep your eye on Isabella.
--- Omits the following: (A) Norman Kings William I Conqueror, William II Rufus, Henry I, and Stephen (except a misleading suggestion that he was killed by Henry II). (B) The origin of the dynasty: Geoffrey Count of Anjou, nicknamed "Plantagenet" because he wore a sprig on his helmet. (C) Background of Heny II's mother, the Empress Matilda. (D) Reign of Richard I Lionheart & Third Crusade. (E) John & Runnymede. (F) Reign of Edward I. (G) Later events of Isabella, Roger, and Edward III. (H) Reign of Edward III, beginning Hundred Years War. Thus important, successful kings were left out, exaggerating the impression of dynastic incompetence and bloody revenge.
--- Dynastic designations are somewhat arbitrary. Every English ruler since William I has been his direct descendant.
--- English kings and nobles of the High Middle Ages were French, spoke French, and held lands in France as vassals of the French King. The film brings this key fact out, but gives the impression that Henry II held French lands outright. William I, Henry II and Richard I valued their French fiefs above England. William left Normandy to his eldest son, and England to another. He was entombed in Normandy; the Latin inscription reads "Duke of Normandy, and King of England." Henry II and Richard Lionheart were also entombed in France. Richard spent only about six months of his 9.5-year reign in England.
--- The nobles supposedly switched to English during Edward III's long reign in the 1300s, but French persisted. When Edward III claimed the throne of France, he put the French fleurs-de-lis in the dominant place in his coat of arms, before the English lions (which had also come from France long before). Claiming the French throne was more prestigious than occupying the English.
--- The French underpinnings still exist. Magna Carta and later foundational English documents were the work of rebellious French-speaking nobles, not legal theorists. The royal coat of arms in England today has two French slogans, one from Richard I, one from Edward III, but no English.

l
livpositiv
Jan 27, 2017

Factual and interesting but dark. I have always found the assertion of royals (from past ages to present) that they were chosen by Divine providence to be just silliness. Wars, tyranny, power struggles, absolute greed, and natural events have determined each reign's past lineage to present. It has nothing to do with God.

b
ba_library
Nov 03, 2016

Good DVD hosted by author / historian Dan Jones. As he says, in the case of the Plantagenets fact is better than fiction. 2 DVDs with 4 episodes starting with 1) Betrayal - King Henry II - megalomaniac! Married to Eleanor of Aquitaine (who was previously married to the King of France.) He builds the Plantagenet dynasty in England and France and controls much of Europe until, 2) Hatred - Henry's wife and sons all betray him and bicker amongst themselves for power. Henry faces his worst life event, the murder of Thomas Becket. Jones kind of skips over Richard I and King John but does address the Magna Carta and the evolution of Parliament. 3) Revenge - covers Henry III and his problems with Simon de Montfort. His son Edward II succeeds and is another bad King (rumored homosexual and very indecisive) enamored with his friend Gaveston, but married to Isabella (the She Wolf) who had an affair with Roger Mortimer. Sort of skips over Edward III (Longshanks / Hammer of the Scots) and ends with 4) Tyranny - King Richard II (another bad King - seems to be in the blood!) If you like history, you will enjoy the DVD. I watched all 4 episodes in one sitting, gets a bit talky. Jones narrates and actors recreate the stories. Very interesting time period. I am currently reading Dan Jones book, "The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England" which is also excellent (and available at SPL.)

m
mawall
Jan 12, 2016

Great DVD. My husband usually will not watch this type of historical DVD. He loved it.

k
Keogh
Jan 04, 2016

An examination of the family that ruled England in the Middle Ages, mixed with actors re-enacting the parts of these historical figures. The host is well informed on the subject of the kings and queens of the Plantagenet clan, the intrigues and personalities of the time, and the events that played out while they were in power. Highly recommended.

e
ElspethG
Jun 27, 2015

This set of DVDs provide a good insight into the convoluted history of the Plantagenets who ruled England for 300 years. Treachery, treason, lackadaisical kingship. I have difficulty generating a lot of interest in history, but Dan Jones makes it interesting and enabled me to make some sense of this period of history. Highly recommended.

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