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The Historians of Angevin England$
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Michael Staunton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198769965.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

The Rise and Fall of Henry II

The Rise and Fall of Henry II

(p.165) 10 The Rise and Fall of Henry II
The Historians of Angevin England

Michael Staunton

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses biographical representations of King Henry II. Though no medieval biography of the king survives, many contemporaries attempted to trace the arc of his life and make sense of his rise and fall. Best known is Gerald of Wales’s devastating picture of the king in his late work De Principis Instructione, but, as is shown here, this narrative of the king’s life had already begun to take shape before his death. Other writers, both hostile and sympathetic, presented Henry as a king who had been raised to greatness by God but failed to repent for his sins, and consequently suffered divine vengeance.

Keywords:   Henry II, medieval biography, Gerald of Wales, divine vengeance, biographical representations

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