Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: King Richard/Prince John/Medieval history

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
juliW avatar
Standard Member medal
Subject: King Richard/Prince John/Medieval history
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 4:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2006
Posts: 632
Back To Top

Can anyone recommend any books that deal with the history of King Richard and Prince John??

I've read books that romanticize that time period....like Robin Hood. And there are scads of movies that delve into King Richard's imprisonment and Prince John's plotting....

But, I'd like to learn more about the true history of that time period, or maybe just medieval history in general.

Any suggestions??

Tanzanite avatar
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
Back To Top

In historical fiction, Jean Plaidy has a couple of books:  The Heart of the Lion (King Richard) and The Prince of Darkness (King John).  They are out of print in the US but you can often find ones on ebay.  Also, they have been recently reissued in the UK and if you order them from The Book Depository, you get free shipping.  I've read both of them and they're pretty good.

bookaddicted avatar
Standard Member medalPBS Blog Contributor medal
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,245
Back To Top

Alys Clare has a series set in that time period. Richard & John are not central characters, although they are sometimes peripheral plot points, and Eleanor is a character in several.


Alys Clare
Elizabeth Harris
  Abbess Helewise and Sir Josse d’Acquin, a French knight, at the Hawkenly Abbey in England during the 12th century, are featured in:  

Fortune Like the Moon (1999)

The Tavern in the Morning (2000)

Ashes of the Elements (2000)

The Chatter of the Maidens (2001)

The Faithful Dead (2002)

A Dark Night Hidden (2004)

Whiter Than the Lily (2004)

Girl in a Red Tunic (2005)

Heart of Ice (2006)



FeliciaJ avatar
Friend of PBS-Gold medal
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
Back To Top

Thomas Costain's The Conquering Family covers the reigns of those two kings as well as their father, Henry II,

A book I ordered recently but have not read is: The Troubadour's Song: The Capture and Ransom of Richard the Lionheart

A book on my wish list is: 1215: The Year of Magna Carta

mimima avatar
Standard Member medalTour Guide medalPrintable Postage medal
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
Back To Top

Sharon Kay Penman's "Here Be Dragons" deals with John's illegitimate daughter, and goes into his history.  Pretty much any book about Eleanor of Aquitaine will discuss them as well.  I second the recommendation of Jean Plaidy.

I will be watching this thread as I love this era.

Spuddie avatar
Friend of PBS-Gold medalPBS Blog Contributor medal
Date Posted: 9/28/2007 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,607
Back To Top

I second Charlie's recommendation of the Alys Clare series as well as Mimi's mention of Sharon Kay Penman's medieval mysteries featuring Justin de Quincy, who is in the employ of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Another series set in that time frame is Bernard Knight's "Crowner John" mystery series...Crowner John is the first ever coroner (which was a vastly different thing than a coroner today!) in the county of Devon, UK, and is a staunch supporter of King Richard, fought with him in Outremer, etc. I'm quite enjoying that series. There are definitely some political intrigues between the factions supporting each of the brothers.



Want fewer ads?