100 books like The Black Prince

By Michael Jones,

Here are 100 books that The Black Prince fans have personally recommended if you like The Black Prince. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Wars of the Roses

Sean McGlynn Author Of Blood Cries Afar: The Magna Carta War and the Invasion of England 1215-1217

From my list on medieval warfare (if you love knights and castles).

Who am I?

A boyhood fascination with knights and castles, plus the inevitable influence of Tolkien’s world, drew me into medieval history, especially its warring side. An MA and a PhD in medieval warfare consolidated my enthusiasm, with my first three books being on that topic (what I call my Blood and Guts trilogy). I remain fascinated by the all-encompassing influence of medieval warfare on society and its unforgiving impact on warriors and non-combatants alike. Writing, lecturing, and public talks on these have led me into other interesting fields, including two TV documentaries.

Sean's book list on medieval warfare (if you love knights and castles)

Sean McGlynn Why did Sean love this book?

Prof Gillingham was my first PhD supervisor. (I got through a couple or more!) I have always tried to emulate not only the clarity of his writing but also his dry touches of humour and his eminent common sense; not for him the clever-silliness of many academics. All these virtues are on display here in this highly readable account of The Wars of the Roses, in which a complex conflict is rendered enjoyably accessible.

By John Gillingham,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wars of the Roses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Frequently remembered as a period of military history which both saw the French beat the English and then the English fight amongst themselves, traditional military historians have tended to pass over the period hastily, regarding it as an episode that wrecked England's military greatness. John Gillingham's highly readable history separates the myth from the reality. He argues that, paradoxically, the Wars of the Roses demonstrate how peaceful England in fact was. From the accession of the infant Henry VI to the thrones of England and France in 1422 to the accession of Henry VII following the Battle of Bosworth in…


Book cover of Victory in the East: A Military History of the First Crusade

John D. Hosler Author Of The Siege of Acre, 1189-1191: Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Battle That Decided the Third Crusade

From my list on crusading warfare.

Who am I?

I’m just a guy who once obsessed over Forgotten Realms novels as a kid and, now, teaches history to military officers at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In between, I got married, earned a PhD at the University of Delaware, and spent 12 years teaching in Baltimore. I’m very interested in cross-cultural warfare—as the crusades are a window into not only western and eastern warfare but also facets of cultural, literary, political, religious, and social history, studying them is endlessly fascinating and infinitely rewarding. My next book, Jerusalem Falls: Seven Centuries of War and Peace, continues my interest in the subject.

John's book list on crusading warfare

John D. Hosler Why did John love this book?

The subtitle gives it away—this is my (and, I’m guessing, most other medieval military historians’) go-to book for that most famous of crusades. France masterfully combines a captivating narrative with abundant historical detail, keen tactical/operational/strategic analyses, and expert interpretation. Each chapter is a delight, but not to be missed is France’s discussion of medieval generalship, his close study of army sizes, and especially the three full chapters on the fighting in and around Antioch in 1097-1098—which still constitute the best scholarly treatment of the events there. Despite a rash of newer works on the First Crusade over the last three decades, this remains the standard treatment for those interested in the war’s martial contours.

By John France,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Victory in the East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The success of the First Crusade, and its capture of Jerusalem in 1099, has been conventionally explained in terms of its ideological and political motivation. This book looks at the First Crusade primarily as a military campaign and asks why it was so successful. Modern writing about the crusade has tended to emphasise the moral dimension and the development of the idea of the crusade, but its fate was ultimately decided on the field of battle. Victory in the East looks at the nature of war at the end of the eleventh century and the military experience of all the…


Book cover of War in the Middle Ages

Sean McGlynn Author Of Blood Cries Afar: The Magna Carta War and the Invasion of England 1215-1217

From my list on medieval warfare (if you love knights and castles).

Who am I?

A boyhood fascination with knights and castles, plus the inevitable influence of Tolkien’s world, drew me into medieval history, especially its warring side. An MA and a PhD in medieval warfare consolidated my enthusiasm, with my first three books being on that topic (what I call my Blood and Guts trilogy). I remain fascinated by the all-encompassing influence of medieval warfare on society and its unforgiving impact on warriors and non-combatants alike. Writing, lecturing, and public talks on these have led me into other interesting fields, including two TV documentaries.

Sean's book list on medieval warfare (if you love knights and castles)

Sean McGlynn Why did Sean love this book?

This book was my “bible” during my days as an MA student of medieval warfare. Contamine convinced me that medieval warfare was truly at the heart of medieval society and thus deserving of dedicated study and research. While densely packed with facts and figures that can be daunting in their quantity, it is full of fascinating revelations, such as the bugler on the battlefield who died from over-exertion!

By Philippe Contamine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War in the Middle Ages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Covering the ten centuries following the fall of Rome, War in the Middle Ages engages all aspects of its subject, including the military customs and conditions of the various Western European states; armor and weaponry recruitment; and rules of combat developed to limit bloodshed. Philippe Contamine writes with an awareness that, in both theory and fact, medieval warfare was constantly evolving. He opens with a chapter on Roman military disintegration and the practice of warfare in the barbarian kingdoms erected on the empirea s ruins. He then shows how feudalization multiplied conflicts, and describes the resulting growth of the "great…


Book cover of The Medieval Archer

Sean McGlynn Author Of Blood Cries Afar: The Magna Carta War and the Invasion of England 1215-1217

From my list on medieval warfare (if you love knights and castles).

Who am I?

A boyhood fascination with knights and castles, plus the inevitable influence of Tolkien’s world, drew me into medieval history, especially its warring side. An MA and a PhD in medieval warfare consolidated my enthusiasm, with my first three books being on that topic (what I call my Blood and Guts trilogy). I remain fascinated by the all-encompassing influence of medieval warfare on society and its unforgiving impact on warriors and non-combatants alike. Writing, lecturing, and public talks on these have led me into other interesting fields, including two TV documentaries.

Sean's book list on medieval warfare (if you love knights and castles)

Sean McGlynn Why did Sean love this book?

The controversial topic of the English longbow continues to haunt medieval warfare studies today. I was delighted to read this robust book which convinced me with its clear argument that the “long” bow was not itself a revolutionary new weapon of the later Middle Ages, but a bow that had evolved over time and which had always been significant in medieval warfare. Throughout there are lots of absorbing accounts of battles.

By Jim Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Medieval Archer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is a delight to read a book which recognises the importance of warfare in medieval times...also...discusses the changing role of the archer in medieval society. SIR STEVEN RUNCIMAN

This book traces the historyof the archer in the medieval period, from the Norman Conquest to the Wars of the Roses. From a close study of early evidence, the author shows that the archer's role before the time of Edward I was an important but rarely documented one, and that his new prominence in the fourteenth century was the result of changes in development of military tactics rather than the introduction…


Book cover of The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England

T.M. Rowe Author Of A Viking Moon

From my list on transporting you back through time.

Who am I?

I have three lifelong passions, the first was reading, then writing, and then archaeology/history. To this end I studied and trained as an archaeologist before I sat down and decided to write stories set in the past as a way of bringing it to life. Of course, there had to be an adventure, a bit of a mystery, and a dash of magic to bring it all together. The books on my list are just a few of those that I have enjoyed reading during my hunt to get to know the past in intimate detail – on my own time travelling journey.

T.M.'s book list on transporting you back through time

T.M. Rowe Why did T.M. love this book?

I have read a lot of history and archaeology books and more often than not they can be a little dull, dry and in some cases work better than a sleeping tablet.

Not with this book, here you learn about parts of medieval England you just wouldn’t think about, written from a more personal point of view its less about political stuff like kings, queens, and those pesky archbishops and much more on the practicalities of living in medieval England.

Would you know what to eat, wear, or where to go to the toilet? Would you know how to address a lord or lady? Would you know what to do if you got sick? This is a vital guide for all time travelers!

By Ian Mortimer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The past is a foreign country. This is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guest house? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not…


Book cover of The Three Edwards

Mary Ellen Johnson Author Of The Lion and the Leopard

From my list on why the 14th century mirrors our ideals.

Who am I?

In junior high, I happened across a picture of an armor-plated knight being raised by a winch to sit astride his destrier. What a ridiculous time period, I thought. After raiding every related book in the school library,  I changed my opinion from “ridiculous” to “fascinating.” Particularly when deciding that periods such as the fourteenth century, with its plagues, wars, political upheavals, and climate change were pretty much a distorted mirror of our own. Throughout my life as wife, mother, novelist, and social justice advocate, I’ve held medieval England close to my heart. I remain forever grateful I’ve been able to explore it both in my writing and in several treks across the pond.  

Mary's book list on why the 14th century mirrors our ideals

Mary Ellen Johnson Why did Mary love this book?

Thomas Costain’s series introduced me to a fascinating world of castles and cathedrals, of tournaments where mounted knights broke lances on behalf of their ladies, where courtly love and chivalry ruled the day. (In theory. Seldom in practice.) How strange, my preteen self thought. How enchanting! I was particularly fascinated by The Three Edwards, which recounts the reign of one of England’s worst kings sandwiched between two of its greatest. With the eye of a natural storyteller, Costain intersperses tales of wars, rebellions, and political machinations with myths such as Arthur and Guinevere’s tombs being “discovered” in Glastonbury and the possible origins of Robin Hood. While there are newer series mining the same period, Costain’s research remains relatively solid, and his prose retains its powerful simplicity.  

By Thomas B. Costain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Three Edwards as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE THREE EDWARDS covers the years between 1272 and 1377 when three Edwards ruled England. Edward I brought England out of the Middle Ages. Edward II had a tragic reign but gave his country Edward III, who ruled gloriously, if violently.
"A thrilling narrative... history told with all the interest found only in a great novel." (Salt Lake City Tribune)


Book cover of 1381: The Year of the Peasants' Revolt

Mary Ellen Johnson Author Of The Lion and the Leopard

From my list on why the 14th century mirrors our ideals.

Who am I?

In junior high, I happened across a picture of an armor-plated knight being raised by a winch to sit astride his destrier. What a ridiculous time period, I thought. After raiding every related book in the school library,  I changed my opinion from “ridiculous” to “fascinating.” Particularly when deciding that periods such as the fourteenth century, with its plagues, wars, political upheavals, and climate change were pretty much a distorted mirror of our own. Throughout my life as wife, mother, novelist, and social justice advocate, I’ve held medieval England close to my heart. I remain forever grateful I’ve been able to explore it both in my writing and in several treks across the pond.  

Mary's book list on why the 14th century mirrors our ideals

Mary Ellen Johnson Why did Mary love this book?

Another beautifully written book recounting the first popular uprising in English history. Would the revolt even have occurred without the Black Death and the subsequent upheaval caused by labor shortages, rising wages, population migrations? The author subsequently draws similarities between 1381 and contemporary conditions, making a compelling case for the axiom: history often rhymes. (When promoting American Independence, Thomas Paine championed the rebels, as did supporters of the French Revolution.) I particularly enjoyed delving into the life of the radical priest, John Ball, whose (largely fictional) voice continues to inspire those who ask, “When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?”

By Juliet Barker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1381 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written with the fluency readers have come to expect from Juliet Barker, 1381: The Year of the Peasants' Revolt provides an account of the first great popular uprising in England and its background, and paints on a broad canvas a picture of English life in medieval times. Skeptical of contemporary chroniclers' accounts of events, Barker draws on the judicial sources of the indictments and court proceedings that followed the rebellion. This emphasis offers a fresh perspective on the so-called Peasants' Revolt and gives depth and texture to the historical narrative. Among the book's arguments are that the rebels believed they…


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

Mary Ellen Johnson Author Of The Lion and the Leopard

From my list on why the 14th century mirrors our ideals.

Who am I?

In junior high, I happened across a picture of an armor-plated knight being raised by a winch to sit astride his destrier. What a ridiculous time period, I thought. After raiding every related book in the school library,  I changed my opinion from “ridiculous” to “fascinating.” Particularly when deciding that periods such as the fourteenth century, with its plagues, wars, political upheavals, and climate change were pretty much a distorted mirror of our own. Throughout my life as wife, mother, novelist, and social justice advocate, I’ve held medieval England close to my heart. I remain forever grateful I’ve been able to explore it both in my writing and in several treks across the pond.  

Mary's book list on why the 14th century mirrors our ideals

Mary Ellen Johnson Why did Mary love this book?

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 dying alone—all of that is compassionately detailed in Ian Mortimer’s compelling biography, which reminds us why Edward of Windsor ranks among England’s greatest kings. 

By Ian Mortimer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Perfect King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 monarchs. In this first full study of his character and life, Ian Mortimer shows how under Edward the feudal kingdom of England became a highly organised nation, capable of raising large revenues and deploying a new type of projectile-based warfare, culminating in the crushing victory over the French at Crecy.…


Book cover of The Apothecary Rose

Rosie Lear Author Of A Quenchless Fire: The Second Sherborne Medieval Mystery

From my list on historical detectives exploring fact and fiction.

Who am I?

As a great reader from birth, I love books. I am a retired teacher of English literature and love history, particularly the medieval period, inspired by my love of Chaucer. I found my chosen authors entertaining, informative, and able to lead me into my happy place, unaware of my surroundings whilst reading. I read very fast, however, and none of them write fast enough for me so I started to write my own books. Words have the power to move, to excite, to console, to entertain. I hope anyone reading my chosen list will enjoy and may feel like exploring my own books.

Rosie's book list on historical detectives exploring fact and fiction

Rosie Lear Why did Rosie love this book?

Set in Medieval York I loved the detail of life in this book. The passion of Lucie Wilton, the apothecary’s wife is apparent and very real. Her anguish at his death and her guilt over her love for Owen Archer, her assistant incite pity and hunger in the reader. It taught me to try and include small details in my own writing and to make my characters come alive as Candace Robb does. I was truly hungry for the next book...and the next...and the next!

Owen Archer became a real fictional hero of mine.

By Candace Robb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Apothecary Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This mystery in medieval England is “suspenseful, historically accurate, and blessed with a wonderful cast of characters . . . An absolute delight” (Charles de Lint, author of the Newford Series).
 
It is Christmastide, 1363, and two suspicious deaths in the infirmary of St. Mary’s Abbey catch the attention of the powerful John Thoresby, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of York. One victim is a pilgrim, while the second is Thoresby’s ne’er-do-well ward, both apparently poisoned by a physic supplied by Master Apothecary Nicholas Wilton.
 
In the wake of these deaths, the archbishop dispatches one-eyed spy Owen Archer to…


Book cover of A Plague on Both Your Houses

Felicity Pulman Author Of Blood Oath

From my list on medieval murders and mysteries.

Who am I?

After enjoying Josephine Tey’s wonderful Daughter of Time, in which she exonerates Richard III from the crime of murdering the princes in the tower, followed by the Brother Cadfael mysteries, I became hooked on historical crimes and decided to try writing them myself! It was quite a challenge researching both the history and the settings from Australia, but the novels became a wonderful excuse for lengthy visits to travel around Great Britain and France. As well as writing the Janna Chronicles, my passion for history has also prompted several other published novels and series, including the Shalott trilogy.

Felicity's book list on medieval murders and mysteries

Felicity Pulman Why did Felicity love this book?

Set in Cambridge in the 14th century, Matthew Bartholomew is a doctor trying to instill knowledge into his students while surviving the rigours of life in an under-funded college, and the censure of fellow physicians who still believe in astrological charts, and who dismiss Matthew’s new-fangled notions of cleanliness. Although keen to focus on his students and his studies, Matthew invariably becomes involved in the town vs gown troubles, along with murders and mysteries when his help is invoked by the Proctor, Brother Michael. Great reads about life in a university town along with medieval medical practice.

By Susanna Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Plague on Both Your Houses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the twentieth anniversary of the Matthew Bartholomew series, Sphere is delighted to reissue the first three books with beautiful new series-style covers. Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated. But Matt is determined to get to the truth, leading him into a tangle of lies and intrigue that cause him to…


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