Shakespeare's Kings by John Julius Norwich
The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485

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Synopsis

Both compelling history and a crucial contribution to Shakespeare studies, Shakespeare's Kings examines the real events behind the bard's history plays. of full-color photos.
 

About John Julius Norwich

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John Julius Norwich was born on September 15, 1929. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, Canada as a wartime evacuee, at Eton College, and at the University of Strasbourg. He served in the Royal Navy before receiving a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford. After graduation, he joined the H. M. Foreign Service and served in Belgrade, Beirut, and as a member of British delegation to the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. In 1954, he inherited the title of Viscount Norwich. In 1964, he resigned from the Foreign Service to become a writer. He is an English historian, travel writer and television personality. His books include A History of Venice, A Short History of Byzantium, Shakespeare's Kings: the Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy. He was the host of the BBC radio panel game My Word! from 1978 to 1982. He has written and presented more than 30 television documentaries including The Fall of Constantinople, Napoleon's Hundred Days, Cortés and Montezuma, Maximilian of Mexico, The Knights of Malta, The Treasure Houses of Britain, and The Death of the Prince Imperial in the Zulu War.
 
Published March 2, 2000 by Scribner. 432 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shakespeare's Kings

Kirkus Reviews

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Noted historian Norwich (Byzantium, 1989, etc.) takes a brilliantly nuanced look at the relations between England's kings and Shakespeare's plays.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare's Kings: The Grea...

Publishers Weekly

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This is a painstakingly sensible book, suitable for die-hard Shakespeare lovers. The author of the massive, three-part Byzantium turns here to the equally byzantine world of late medieval England, pro

Feb 28 2000 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare's Kings: The Grea...

The New York Times

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Edward II is dismissed as a contemptible figure who ''reduced the prestige of the English Crown to the lowest point in all its history.'' And while Lord Norwich credits his son, Edward III, with restoring some respect to the throne, he adds that the ''last 15 years of his life had been increasing...

Apr 11 2000 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare's Kings: The Grea...

Publishers Weekly

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The book will be useful as a historical primer for those already familiar with the plays (or films: many will associate Henry V with Kenneth Branagh, or Richard III with Ian McKellen), but it lacks intellectual muscle, and the awkwardly intermittent analyses of accuracy obscure the natural flair ...

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