King John : England's Evil King?, Paperback

King John : England's Evil King? Paperback



The most up-to-date biography of King John by the acknowledged expert on the reign.

King John long ago acquired the epithet 'Bad', and he is reputed to be the worst of England's kings.

Before his death in 1216, his desperate exploitation of his subjects for ever more money had turned him into the mythical monster of Hollywood legend - even though the fictional Robin Hood was invented much later.

Born in 1166 the youngest of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine's sons, only the untimely deaths of his elder brothers, Henry, Geoffrey of Brittany, and Richard the Lionheart propelled him to the English throne.

In contrast to his brother Richard, he appeared incompetent in battle, failing to defend Normandy in 1202-04, and was unsuccessful in recovering his lost lands in 1214.

A continuing crisis was a constant need for money, forcing John to drain England of funds for campaigns in France, demanding unlawful and oppressive new taxes.

Adding to his evil reputation was an ill-tempered personality and a streak of pettiness or spitefulness that led him to monstrous acts, including murdering his own nephew. King John's unpopularity culminated in a final crisis, a revolt by the English baronage, 1215-16, aimed at subjecting him to the rule of law, that resulted in his grant of Magna Carta.




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