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Publisher's Summary

Thomas B. Costain's four-volume history of the Plantagenets begins with The Conquering Family and the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066, closing with the reign of John in 1216. The troubled period after the Norman Conquest, when the foundations of government were hammered out between monarch and people, comes to life through Costain's storytelling skill and historical imagination.
©1983 Thomas B. Costain; (P)2008 Books on Tape
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Customer Reviews

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By Peter on 01-20-09

An Entrancing History of the Early Plantegenets

The Conquering Family is the first of Costain's four volume history of the Plantagenets. It covers the founding of the dynasty, the rise and fall of Henry II, Richard the Lion-Heart and King John (a king so bad no king has been named John since).

This is a fabulous introduction to Medieval English history. Here's hoping that they include the other three books soon.

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22 of 25 people found this review helpful


By Elizabeth on 04-02-12

Amazing, dare I say WOW!

This is one of the most interesting periods of Western European history. We know so much and so little. This book handles it very well, clearly, thoroughly and in an engaging style. I can start this in any spot and get right back into it all. Since there is no suspense about the outcome, it's a fait accompi after all, there is no such thing as a "spoiler."
This is a tale well told, and I encourage even those who think history is dry to give it a listen. The narrator has a wonderful rich voice and reads with clarity and understanding, which adds to the whole work.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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