The Perfect King

By Ian Mortimer,

Book cover of The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation

Book description

He ordered his uncle to be beheaded; he usurped his father's throne; he taxed his people more than any other previous king, and he started a war which lasted for more than a hundred years. Yet for centuries Edward III (1327-77) was celebrated as the most brilliant of all English…

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1 author picked The Perfect King as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Forget the Wars of the Roses! Give me the fourteenth century and the reign of Edward III—whose like, according to the chronicler Jean Froissart, “has not been seen since the days of King Arthur." A happy warrior, exuberant ruler, and skilled commander, who at least one modern military historian has described as “the greatest general in English history.” Edward kicked some serious French butt during the beginning of the Hundred Years War. (Great from the English point of view. Devastating for those on the receiving end of Edward’s chevauchees.) The poignancy of outliving one’s peers and one’s time and…

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