For almost 350 years the Plantagenet family held the English throne - longer than any dynasty in English history - and yet its origins were in Anjou in France, French remained the mother tongue of England's monarchs for 300 years, and only in its family's final decades did English rather than French become the language the king used in official correspondence.
Furthermore, although the family managed to remain in power for so long, this was not without kings being deposed, ransomed and imprisoned, or without sons plotting against their fathers for the throne and wives turning against their husbands.
The Plantagenets is an accessible book that tells the whole narrative of the dynasty, from the coronation of Henry, Count of Anjou, in 1145 to the fall of Yorkist Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. But in charting the fortunes of the family, the book explores not only military victories and defeats across Europe, on crusade and in the British Isles, but how England and its neighbours changed during that time - how the authority of Parliament increased, how laws were reformed, how royal authority could struggle with that of the Roman Catholic Church, how the Black Death affected England, and how universities were founded and cathedrals built.
Illustrated with more than 200 colour and black-and-white photographs, maps and artworks, The Plantagenets is an expertly written account of a people who have long captured the popular imagination.