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King Stephen Hardcover – Jan 18 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (Jan. 18 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300112238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300112238
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 16.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #586,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to know more about King Stephan and now I know... Nov. 7 2012
By Brian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
King Stephan had always been a shadowy figure for me and Empress Matilda always seemed fascinating to me. While I knew a lot about Henry II and his amazing bride Eleanor and knew a great deal about their remarkable children I felt I was always coming into the middle of the story with out knowing about King Stephan and the "troubles". This book fills in that gap wonderfully really following King Stephan's rise his bloodless coup and his constant trouble fighting to hold on to his throne despite battlefield defeats and betrayal.

The books has some flaws though notably it drops the narrative thread far too often in the recounting Stephan's reign. True the book is about King Stephan but the story of the civil war is the story of his reign. Some examples when Matilda leaves England she just disappears from the story her fate never resolved. Henry II is left at the end of one chapter facing possible destruction at the hands of his enemies and at the start of the next chapter is in England negotiating with King Stephan from a position of strength. The events that lead to to development could have been summarized in a paragraph or two at most but just aren't mentioned at all. The "revolt of the fens" by Geoffrey of Mandeville is colorfully told and the events are exciting but in mid story they are just dropped. We are told later in a throw away line that Geoffrey died and was not given a Christian burial. How and the why of his death are not explained.

However despite the narrative lapses and the somewhat annoying habits of referring to medieval institution in modern terms like the "press", "protection money" and "managerial disputes" the book is a very informative look at Stephan his family, his court and his remarkable rises and falls into and from power. The book did exactly what I wanted it to do for me it informed me wonderfully about who this King Stephan was and exactly how his reign became known as the "troubles".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of the best sources for King Stephen Feb. 13 2013
By Rodney M Bond - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is highly chronological. The events are given with plenty of background information. The book provides plenty of personal insights into the life of King Stephen.
Need it for research May 27 2014
By K. Fair - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second biography I own of King Stephen--the other was written almost 50 years before. I needed as much information as possible about Stephen's family for some research I am doing. This was very helpful.