The Prince of Darkness, The Battle of the Queens and The Queen from Provence in The Plantagenet Saga by Jean Plaidy


Recently, I’ve read the following books in Jeal Plaidy’s The Plantagenet Saga:

The Prince of Darkness Vol. 4
The Battle of the Queens Vol. 5
The Queen from Provence Vol. 6

Not her best writing, but it’s easy reading and I still enjoy these books.

The Prince of Darkness is about King John the Bad. He was cruel and alienated his people and they killed him. His mom was Eleanor of Aquitaine, and she was cool, so he gets points for that.

Bad King John and his legit offspring (via wikipedia)

Bad King John and his legit offspring (via wikipedia)

Next.

The Battle of the Queens seems kind of contrived. The first queen the title refers to is Isabella who was married to Bad King John and when widowed her son Henry became King Henry III so she was Queen Mother of England.

Henry III becomes king as a young teen so she had a lot of sway in running the country. That is, until he went to bring one of her daughters to marry someone in France (or what was something else I forget but it’s France now in 2011) and she, yes, Isabella, ends up marrying that guy and sends the daughter to marry someone else instead. So she pretty much abandoned her English family for her new one.

I think she had like 5 kids with the 2nd husband. Oh yeah Hugh was his name. She also worked against English. What a scandalous life she led. Well, at least according to Ms. Plaidy.

Isabella of Angoulême via Alex Wolf's flickr account, used without permission http://www.flickr.com/photos/31869162@N02/

Isabella of Angoulême's tomb via Alex Wolf's flickr account, used without permission (sorry)

The other queen the title refers to is Blanche, the Dowager Queen of France and mother of French King Louis IX. Oh, and Blanche was Eleanor of Aquitaine’s grand-daughter. Eleanor allegedly hand-picked sassy Blanche to marry off to the future king of France.

Coronation of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, 1223 via Paul Wylde's flickr account, used without permission, sorry

Coronation of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, 1223 via Paul Wylde's flickr account, used without permission, sorry

I don’t remember where the story arc ends in this book. These books overlap a little and I am now 2 books ahead of this one.

The Queen from Provence is about the kind but not so bright Henry III. The barons ganged up on him and kept him and his son prisoners at one point. They wanted him to follow the magna carta that Henry III’s father, Bad King John had been forced to sign. In this book, Henry III is aware that his dad was hated and killed by the people. But, he still did things to alienate them like tax the fuck out of them and spend lavishly on his family and closed door feasts and banquets. Maybe he was a little out of touch because he was sheltered his whole life. Oh, the queen referenced in the title is Henry III’s wife Eleanor of Provence who was allegedly manipulative and beautiful and greedy.

Henry III, effigy in Westminster Abbey

Henry III, effigy in Westminster Abbey

Anyhoo, the son who follows Henry III, Edward I, is a good guy. Reading about him now.

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One Response to The Prince of Darkness, The Battle of the Queens and The Queen from Provence in The Plantagenet Saga by Jean Plaidy

  1. Roy Zornow says:

    The first photo is the world’s oldest site map.

Cha cha cha

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