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Publisher's Summary

The final volume in A History of the Plantagenets covers the century from 1377 to 1485, when civil war ravaged England, rebellious peasants marched on London and wandering preachers sowed dissent in the credulous poor. The last Plantagenet monarchs governed in violence and confusion. Kings came and went, deposed or murdered. Princes and nobles slaughtered or were slaughtered in bloody battles or private feuds. It was an era of brilliant successes, tragic reverses, and wild extravagance.
©1983 Thomas Costain (P)2009 Random House

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What listeners say about The Last Plantagenets

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Last Plantagenets Review

This book covers the last century of Plantagenent rule in England, or 1377-1485 to be exact. I thought it was excellent except for the final bit on Richard III, the last Last Plantagenent. The first half of the book covers the 1377-1399 reign of Richard II. At first blush, this may seem lopsided, but it is not because this is perhaps the most interesting period of the entire Plantagenent rule. Featured is the Peasant's Revolt and a rather quirky monarch who is forcibly removed from office. The narrator impersonates Richard II with a high, pompous voice that reminds the reader with every utterance of the fundamental reason that his subjects ultimately found him to be intolerable.

The book proceeds through the reigns of three Henry's and the confused period of the War of the Roses more rapidly, although it does justice to interesting characters such as Owen Glendower of Wales and Catherine of Valois.

My only problem with the book is its coverage of the final two year reign of Richard III. At this point, the author switches his style, and the exposition comes off as if it were written by Richard's defense attorney. For example, the author make a somewhat compelling case that Richard was not the man who committed the infamous murder of the Princes in the Tower. He ignores the equally compelling case, made by other authors, that Richard was guilty of these murders. Perhaps this can be excused because the "Richard is innocent" argument was new at the time the book was written, but it seems unbalanced to a 21st century reader.

The good parts of the book greatly outweigh the bad, however,so I recommend it highly to readers interested in this period.

20 people found this helpful

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EXCELLENT SERIES

These are all so good you won't be disappointed starting anywhere, but obviously best to follow the author's lead and begin at the beginning with The Conquering Family.

Obviously these are historical works covering the Plantagenets who were pretty fascinating in their own right, but at the same time Costain shows us the social and historical background to all of their highly interesting efforts to be as great/strange/cruel/disappointing/infuriating etc as they were.

I never like David Case's voice per se and when I see he is the narrator I usually sigh a little - and then he proves me wrong by doing such a perfect job that I couldn't imagine another taking his place. Enjoy!

1 person found this helpful

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Great older history

Book is very thorough, and I enjoyed the content very much. The narrators' voice is annoying. Imagine the very worst stereotypical British snob -- that's what you will be listening to. So, maybe try a sample first? Great history.

1 person found this helpful

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Keep Going Back For More

If you could sum up The Last Plantagenets in three words, what would they be?

Informative, Entertaining, Way Way Better than High School History Class

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Plantagenets?

No particular Memorable Moment. The entire book was so well done that even though I have read the hard back book three times over the years, I HAD to have this audio book. I have had many positive experiences with David Case and the combination of his talent and the marvelous written history that turns famous names into real people was impossible for me to pass up. If you want to hear the experiences of real people and not just memorize dates and battle names, get this book. I think you will be glad you did even after listening to it multiple times as I plan to do.

What does David Case   bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Hard to define that. It is as though I was listening to a traveling story teller from centuries ago who has come to my town to tell us the latest news of the goings on of people in power.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No way. It is a long book and wonderful for listening to as I go to bed over several nights. Lovely way to drift off to sleep. Books lasts a long time because I can go back and re-listen to what I might have missed. Audio books are a blessing. This is book and narrator I know I will revisit several times knowing I am headed for a pleasurable journey.

1 person found this helpful

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well researched and written with passion

The author takes a strong view on the place Richard Iii has been given in history. I loved the analysis of Two Princes in the tower mystery. intriguing but still a mystery nonetheless.
worth a listen

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great.. only one complaint

I've read all the books from this author about the plantagenets. I love them they're informative well written expertly performed and normally his information is fair and objective gives you all sides and what likely happened. I only have a complaint, it's about his preference for Richard the third. it got very biased an a little inaccurate all the sudden. I was a little disappointed at that. he was very defensive of Richard, not that I completely disagree with him but I just think it was not in tune with the rest of the book and some of it was inaccurate. also, I guess some Info wasn't known when the book was wrote to be fair.
otherwise I recommend highly. even for a beginner all these books about the plantagenet. there excellent.