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The Red Prince

The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster

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Gaunt was son of Edward III, brother to the Black Prince, father to Henry IV and the sire of all those Tudors. He’s had a pretty bad press: supposed usurper of Richard II’s crown and the focus of hatred in the Peasants’ Revolt (they torched his home, the Savoy Palace). Helen Carr will paint a complex portrait of a man who held the levers of power on the English and European stage, passionately upheld chivalric values, pressed for the Bible to be translated into English, patronised the arts … and, if you follow Shakespeare, gave the most beautiful oration on England (‘this sceptred isle… this blessed plot’). An engrossing drama of political machinations, violence, romance and tragedy played out at the cusp of a new era.

‘Helen Carr is a really exciting new talent in the world of history writing, whose work strikes a perfect balance between lucidity and scholarship. Her debut, The Red Prince, is a beautifully nuanced portrait of an oft misunderstood man.’

– Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire

‘Helen is smart, witty and is building an impressive media career. I have no doubt that she will be some sort of big shot before the decade is out.’

– Dan Jones

'Helen Carr is one of the most exciting and talented young historians out there. She has a passion for medieval history which is infectious and is always energetic and engaging, whether on the printed page or the screen.'

– Dan Snow