• Death Keeps His Court

  • The Rule of Richard II
  • By: Anselm Audley
  • Narrated by: James Warrior
  • Length: 3 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A tyrant on the throne....

Richard II was young, handsome, and elegant. Last living child of the brilliant Black Prince, he came to the throne bearing the hopes of his people on his shoulders. His court glittered; his tastes were refined; his portraits shone with gold. Regal, composed, aloof, he was the very picture of majesty. He became a murderous, capricious tyrant. His favorites plotted against his family. He rewrote the laws of England to give himself absolute power. He raised an army against his own subjects. His subjects deposed him. Twice.

This is the story of the forgotten civil war of 1387, which saw Richard set against his brave, ill-starred uncle, Thomas of Woodstock. Of how a boy's bright promise turned deadly, provoking his nobles to fear, flight, and finally open war. Of how a humiliated king set out on a course of vengeance that would cost him his life and sow the first fatal seeds of the Wars of the Roses.

From royal banquets to battles in the mist, Death Keeps His Court tells a tale of real-life tyranny, treachery, and tragedy in the age that inspired A Game of Thrones. Anselm Audley holds BA and master's degrees in ancient history from Oxford as well as a degree in planetary science from University College London. He is a published fantasy novelist, the author of Heresy, Inquisition, Crusade, and Vespera.

©2015 Anselm Audley (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Death Keeps His Court

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Lacking in detail

This audiobook could have been good if it went into a little more detail. It only briefly touches on a few well-known issues with the reign of Richard II. I would not recommend using a credit for this book.

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Royal Vendettas


This was an interesting account of Richard II's battle with his courtiers, novels and Parliament. It reads like a soap opera. A young boy who carried the hopes and dreams of a country, turns out to be a petty tyrant who rewards his friends and cronies to the detriment of everything and everyone else. His reign is not a good one and his insecurities and ill temper don't make him popular. When Parliament refused to accept his demands, he attempts a power play that backfired. A group of Appellates strips him of his power, and worse to Richard, his loyal friends, who they hate for corruption. The highlight of the book is the nine years of waiting for Richard to extract his revenge. He finally learns to hold his temper and grow up. The appellates learn too late that he holds a grudge, doesn't forgive or forget. It also teaches everyone that he can never be trusted, which ultimately leads to his downfall. A great short read, with good narration.

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Well done

I found it all very interesting. A lot of intrigue and a very good story.

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the Lords Appellant kept Richard's Court

very good introduction. I picked this up in order to gain a better historical background before continuing with Shakespeare's Richard II. I would not recommend this to anyone else for this purpose ; however, Anselm's analysis and bavkground of Richard's favorites versus the Lords Appellant -- this is a very very good introduction and summary.

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  • AngSt3r11
  • 08-31-17

Great!

The narrator was great as I really enjoyed his voice and the story was just as enjoyable. However, I did get a little confused at some points and have to rewind. Most likely, this was due to me doing other activities whilst listening. This was also a great price as it was something like £3 but it would not be worth your free credit as you could get something considerably longer. From what I can tell, this seems to be the best book that exclusively focuses on this particular historical era available through audible. This is going off topic but I'd really like a book on Charles II otherwise known as the 'merry monarch'.

2 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 08-11-21

Enjoyable History

loved it a clear time line of events. A story of too much too young.

1 person found this helpful

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  • john
  • 07-30-21

A fourteenth century horror story !

No sugarcoating of medieval Kingship or the operation of fifteenth century livery and maintenance in this well written, well constructed and well read short piece covering the period that shaped Richard the Seconds unhappy reign. Next time you read some Medieval historian Spouting off about the merits of Kings or nobles remember what you have just read and bear in mind there were no good guys or bad guys just ruthless men caught up in a cycle of violence from which they could not escape. History at its best and thoroughly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-27-22

The intrigues of King Richard's reign.

Beautifully written and beautifully narated by James Warrior whom I am now a fan of.

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  • philip cantliffe
  • 08-23-22

great book.

absolutely amazing. always to the point and not allowing the narrative to leave the main point. very special

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-05-22

Breathtaking detail

Having finished 'The Plantagenets recently, I was intrigued to hear more detail about the life of Richard 11 and having listened now to the whole reign in all its glorious technicolour, I'm so glad I added it to my library.
The in-depth detail -no doubt from hours spent poring over primary sources -was wonderful. Everything was brought to life.. Very well read and fascinating. Well Done.

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  • Nick
  • 05-28-22

Grating

I'm sure that this is a very good book.
However, the voice of the narrator grates and I surrendered in chapter 2.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-27-22

Just okay

Tere are much better voices to listen to. Book is factual enough, but narrator's voice is soooo flat you find yourself drifting away.

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  • Tom Bowring
  • 05-20-22

Well read but missing a few chapters

This story of R2s reign ends abiut 3 quarters of the way through his reign. I assumed there was another chapter but no! it stops with Richard's revenge and doesn't venture into his final overthrowing by Henry, a key point in what would lead to the war if the roses. Very well read but also lacked detail. A disappointing book overall.

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  • Steven Waite
  • 05-03-22

Really interesting

The narrator takes a bit of getting used to, but the story is fascinating.