The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-Made King
An author with a strong track record now tackles the turbulent reign of Henry IV, the first Lancastrian king.
By 1405, King Henry IV had already survived at least eight plots to dethrone or kill him in the first six years of his reign. Henry had not always been so unpopular. The son of John of Gaunt, he was courteous, confident, well-educated, musical and spiritually fervent. In 1399, at the age of thirty-two, he was enthusiastically greeted as the saviour of the realm when he ousted from power the insecure and tyrannical King Richard II.
Therein lay Henry’s weakness. By making himself King he had broken God’s law and left himself starkly open to criticism. Enemies everywhere tried to take advantage of his questionable right to the crown. Such overwhelming threats transformed him from a hero into a duplicitous murderer: a king prepared to go to any lengths to save his family and his throne.
But against all the odds, what Henry achieved was to take a poorly ruled nation, establish a new Lancastrian dynasty, and introduce the principle that a king must act in accordance with Parliament. He might not have been the most glorious king England ever had, but he was one of the bravest, and certainly the greatest survivor of them all.
Chapter 1. The Hatch and Brood of Time
Chapter 2. All Courtesy from Heaven
Chapter 3. The Summons of the Appellant’s Trumpet
Chapter 4. Iron Wars
Chapter 5. As Far as to the Sepulchre of Christ
Chapter 6. Curst Melancholy
Chapter 7. By Envy’s Hand and Murder’s Bloody Axe
Chapter 8. The Breath of Kings
Chapter 9. The Virtue of Necessity
Chapter 10. High Sparks of Honour
Chapter 11. A Deed Chronicled in Hell
Chapter 12. The Great Magician
Chapter 13. Uneasy Lies the Head
Chapter 14. A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury
Chapter 15. Treason’s True Bed
Chapter 16. Smooth Comforts False
Chapter 17. Golden Care
Chapter 18. In That Jerusalem
Chapter 19. That I and Greatness were Compelled to Kiss
1. Henry’s Date of Birth and the Royal Maundy
2. The Succession to the Crown, 1386–99
3. Henry’s Children
4. Casualties at the Battle of Shrewsbury
5. Henry’s Speed of Travel in 1406 and 1407
6. Henry’s Physicians and Surgeons
7. The Lancastrian Esses Collar
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY AND LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
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