"Henry III" by David Carpenter

Henry III 1207-1258 David Carpenter

The English Monarchs Series
Publication date:
12 May 2020
Yale University Press
576 pages: 235 x 156mm
16 b-w illus.


Nine years of age when he came to the throne in 1216, Henry III had to rule within the limits set by the establishment of Magna Carta and the emergence of parliament. Pacific, conciliatory, and deeply religious, Henry brought many years of peace to England and rebuilt Westminster Abbey in honor of his patron saint, Edward the Confessor. He poured money into embellishing his palaces and creating a magnificent court. Yet this investment in "soft power" did not prevent a great revolution in 1258, led by Simon de Montfort, ending Henry's personal rule.

Eminent historian David Carpenter brings to life Henry's character and reign as never before. Using source material of unparalleled richness—material that makes it possible to get closer to Henry than any other medieval monarch—Carpenter stresses the king’s achievements as well as his failures while offering an entirely new perspective on the intimate connections between medieval politics and religion.

David Carpenter is professor of medieval history at King's College London. He has published widely on the reign of Henry III and in 2015 wrote a new study of Magna Carta for the Penguin Classics series.