|Title:||The Magnificient Century: The Pageant of England [Plantagenets #2]|
|Publisher:||Doubleday & Company, Inc.|
|Tags:||England, Henry II, history, non-fiction|
Following The Conquerors in chronological sequence, this second book in the brilliant series of histories which will make up The Pageant of England covers the long reign of the weathercock King Henry III, from 1216 to 1272.
It was during the period covered in this book, an age appropriately termed “the magnificent century,” that England first made remarkable strides toward freedom, establishing principles of democratic rule which would later be accepted by the world. Englishmen returned home from the Crusades with the first implements for a new life—foreign books, medicines, and maps of the East; new foods, new heresies, and even new diseases. Although wars went on as before and ignorance still held sway, this was the beginning of an awakening which was to sweep men on to spectacular advances in the arts, science, philosophy, and theology. Five royal hospitals were built in London alone during these years, and then, too, rose the Gothic spires of cathedrals.—Dustcover. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Costain, Thomas B.
Thomas Bertram Costain (May 8, 1885 – October 8, 1965) was a Canadian journalist who became a best-selling author of historical novels at the age of 57.
Costain's work is a mixture of commercial history (such as The White and The Gold, a history of New France to around 1720) and fiction that relies heavily on historic events (one review stated it was hard to tell where history leaves off and apocrypha begins). His most popular novel was The Black Rose (1945), centred in the time and actions of Bayan of the Baarin also known as Bayan of the Hundred Eyes. Costain noted in his foreword that he initially intended the book to be about Bayan and Edward I, but became caught up in the legend of Thomas a Becket's parents: an English knight married to an Eastern girl. The book was a selection of the Literary Guild with a first printing of 650,000 copies and sold over two million copies in its first year.
His research led him to believe that Richard III was a great monarch tarred by conspiracies, after his death, with the murder of the princes in the tower. Costain supported his theories with documentation, suggesting that the real murderer was Henry VII.
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