William marshall

The Plantagenet we always forget

Watching Heston Blumenthal arrange the infernal horror that is a lamprey’s head on a plate is one thing; seeing an enthusiastic dinner guest suck the raw, bloody meat out of it is quite another — something you will never, in fact, unsee. But finding the YouTube link to this spectacle in the chatty preface to an academic book on Henry III is quite the best indicator that you are in for a colourful ride. David Carpenter has chosen his subject thoughtfully. The history of English kings and queens is a well-trodden path, yet even aficionados struggle to list three things Henry did well and three areas in which he needed