2/5 – DNF at 51%
What can I say about this book?
This era of England isn’t exactly my expertise, but I have read things on the Plantagenets so I’m not completely ignorant. I just don’t happen to know particulars. Also, we didn’t go into this time period in my course on Europe from 1000-1350. We spent our time on university learning, art, and lay religion.
So, I thought this book was going to make sense to me. I thought that I’d be able to track the names and the dates and everything. Yet, I wasn’t. Why? Because I don’t think that Darren Baker had a great grasp on how to explain it.
His whole premise is in the title. Henry III is the best king ever and these are all the reasons why. Yet, while I was reading this, I found him extremely incompetent and not set for the throne. I got halfway through the book, so I think that I can say that. I also was highlighting things. He just didn’t know how to control his subjects. There were constant factions and intrigues that he couldn’t keep a handle on. Not to mention Pope Boniface and the issues that his papacy had going on.
Then, none of the names made sense to me. I mean, I don’t think they were ever really explained to me. I was supposed to pick it up. While I can usually do that, this book was too dense and there were so many unneeded tangents included. It also felt like I was learning about Henry through others, not through things he did.
While I’m sure others would enjoy this book — it’s well-written and about an interesting period in time — yet it really didn’t work for me.