David Carpenter is professor of medieval history at King's College London. He is the author of numerous books including a new study of Magna Carta for the Penguin Classics series.
Professor Carpenter is one of Britain's foremost medievalists...No one knows more about Henry, and a lifetime of scholarship is here poured out, elegantly and often humorously. This is a fine, judicious, illuminating work that should be the standard study of the reign for generations to come. -Dan Jones, The Sunday Times [A] monumental, awesome yet highly readable book...Carpenter is the foremost scholar of England's 13th century, and his spectacular erudition shines on every page... Above all, he has narrative gifts that root this history of our medieval country in reality rather than in romance, and makes the lives of our distant forebears feel as comprehensible as our own. -Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph You are in for a colourful ride...Yale University Press is to be congratulated on allowing Carpenter to explore so many aspects of 13th-century English government at such length. The glorious details - lamprey cooking included - are what make it a pleasure. -Dominic Selwood, Spectator [A] major new biography -BBC History Magazine Carpenter's view of Henry is essentially a benign one: he sees him as a generous and well-meaning man...It is a persuasive view. This is a magisterial biography, authoritative and yet accessible. -Nigel Saul, History Today [F]ull of good judgment in good prose -Christopher Howse, Spectator [Books of the Year] A monumental biography...written in a blithe and energetic style, its narrative thread tracing the intrigues and intricacies of England's first Plantagenet king -E. Andrew Darden, Aspects of History Outstanding. Through sustained scholarship Carpenter provides the reader with all sorts of insights into the decisions and daily experience of this ambitious and complex medieval king. -Michael Clanchy, author of England and its Rulers This brilliant study by a leading historian of medieval England brings together a lifetime of research in a masterly way. Henry III is treated with humane understanding while his political failings and absence of a proper sense of priorities are emphasised with admirable clarity. Vivid and highly readable, this is a book of major significance. -Michael Prestwich, author of Edward I Rooted in his unrivalled understanding of the primary sources, Carpenter has created a sparkling and compelling narrative of this little-known English king. -Stephen Church, author of Henry III A monumental achievement. Never before has England's place in the wider history of medieval Europe been revealed on quite this epic scope, and with so sharp an eye for personalities. Revisiting fifty years of history, Carpenter reveals Henry III - a supposedly 'non-descript king' - as one of the more fascinating failures ever to have sat on the English throne. -Nicholas Vincent, author of A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485