Four Plantagenet Kings, Four Ways to Ruin a Country

A-PlantagenetsFour Plantagenet Kings, Four Ways to Ruin a Country

   The Athena Learning DVD set titled “Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty, The Plantagenets” is excellently done. However, of the twelve Plantagenet Kings of England, this series deals only with Henry II, Henry III, Edward II, and Richard II. Perhaps there will be a second series to pick up the other reigns; but what we have here is of great interest.

With a good narration by historian Dan Jones, the events are acted out by a cast that speaks only French (as did the English nobility at the time), and the insanity of the last three kings is shown perfectly in the actors’ faces.

The running theme is that personal power was more important than running the country. Henry II was not mad but acted so in his last years concerning which son would succeed him. Edward II and Richard II thought more of their friends/lovers than of running the country. Richard even passed a sort of Patriot Act, calling for the death penalty for anyone who contradicted him in any way!

All this makes fascinating viewing; and one can read up on the kings this series omits. Maybe the efficient kings did not provide such interesting stories as did the weak ones. Each of four episodes runs 47 minutes and there are subtitles.