“This book provides a fascinating insight into the great personalities of the time, particularly Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine, together with lesser-known monarchs such as Philip II. Capturing the nuances of these notable characters, Clash of Crowns is a superb portrayal of one of the most exciting periods of French history.” — France Magazine
“We’re familiar with the names— William the Conqueror, Richard Lionheart, Eleanor of Aquitaine—but probably less so with the gripping stories of their never-ending confrontations with rivals at home and enemies abroad. It’s this tangled history that McAuliffe’s aptly titled Clash of Crowns sets out to unravel. That she succeeds, splendidly, has to do with her uncanny ability to embed the myriad names and dates in a clearly developed narrative that features characters as fully fleshed out as those in any play. . . . McAuliffe’s prose is a wonderful instrument, her tone of voice down-to-earth and commonsensical, all in all, a pleasure to read.”
— Providence Sunday Journal
“Among the many notables, McAuliffe reintroduces us to the likes of William the Conqueror, Barbarossa, Rollo the Viking, Robert Curthose of Normandy, Louis the Fat and a cadre of Henrys. After assessing the famously dysfunctional English household of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, McAuliffe focuses on the truly excellent adventures of their son, Richard Lionheart. In clear prose, the author examines Richard’s internecine struggles, usually with his brother, his feckless Third Crusade fighting Saladin and his many clashes with archenemy Philip of France.…We learn of twelfth-century statecraft, the design of fortress castles and how to lay siege to them, the wages of mounted knights and foot soldiers, the rise of the notion of romance and the wonderful victuals consumed at great state dinners.” — Kirkus Reviews
"A lively and affectionate account of a grand scenario in medieval history."
- Thomas N. Bisson, Harvard University
"A rattling good read that captures the mood of the age."
- John France, Swansea University
"Fans of medieval European History will delight in McAuliffe's rich tale."
- Publishers Weekly
By Mary McAuliffe