Set against the backdrop of a country racked by revolt and class warfare, Within the Hollow Crown showcases the true spirit of a king at the end of one of the most glorious dynasties, who wants both England's heart and crown. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all English monarchs, the son of the Black Prince and grandson of Edward III has been portrayed in a dim light by history. But Margaret Campbell Barnes gives readers a different portrait of Richard II. Although his peace-loving ways set him apart from the war-mongering medieval world around him, Richard proved himself a true king by standing down a peasant revolt and outwitting the political schemes of his enemies. Struggling to uphold the valiant Plantagent dynasty, Richard and his queen, Anne of Bohemia, nonetheless manage to create an exquisite partnership, described as "one of the tenderest idylls of romance ever written."
(Terra's Thoughts) This is a book that is a wonderfully meaty read that will pull you here, there and everywhere. A highly emotional story of injustice starting with a young boy King and taking you though the first twenty plus years of his reign as King of England. A story that will make you feel sorry for this young man born of privilege for he is not exempt from the cruelties of life as most of us would think.
Richard II takes reign as King of England at the young tender age of ten. His father having died the year before and his grandfather having only recently gone to his final resting place leaves Richard at the mercy of his Uncles and Parliament until he can finally come into his own and take control of England any way that he can.
Richard II grows under the tutelage of his Uncles and Parliament as well as under the watchful eye of his mother The Princess of Wales. He is considered a week child and all who watch him think his is of week will and will never be able to step into the shoes of the Kingship to govern the people of his beloved England. Let's just say that as Richard II grows he watches and learns. He is much brighter than what his Uncles and Parliament give him credit for.
As the years go by and Richard grows into a young man he is tested over and over again by those who would thwart him. He is ignored to the point of despair and when he does step up to the fight and calms his people, his Uncles are first to take the praise for a deed that was not of their doing.
Richard II marries and he and his Queen have to fight tooth and nail for each and every little thing. Our young King and Queen have much to go through and will suffer losses that will nearly be their undoing. Will the costs justify the means?
Luckily for both our hero and heroine are made of sterner stuff and it's not until close to the end of the book that we have to hope and pray for the King's sanity as he looses all those who are closest to him.
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (April 1, 2010)