Henry Plantagenet Author:Richard Barber Henry II is the most imposing figure among the medieval kings of England. His fiefs and domains extended from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, and his court was frequented by the greatest thinkers and men of letters of his time, besides ambassadors from all over Europe. This readable and accessible biography offers both a study of his characte... more »r, and an estimate of his work as a ruler, work which is in a sense the history of his life, since it occupied his entire energies from his accession at the age of twenty-one to his death thirty-five years later.
Nor is this the mere routine of government; from the desolate and lawless anarchy of Stephen's reign, and against the opposition of the great magnates and the Church, he built in England a stable and prosperous realm, and welded his diverse inheritance overseas into a single, and by the standards of the time, peaceful, unit. Only the folly of John dispersed his empire, and his work in England left an enduring mark on the institutions by which we are governed today.« less