Henry I

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Yale University Press, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 554 pages
5 Reviews
Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, ruled from 1100 to 1135, a time of fundamental change in the Anglo-Norman world. This long-awaited biography, written by one of the most distinguished medievalists of his generation, offers a major reassessment of Henry’s character and reign. Challenging the dark and dated portrait of the king as brutal, greedy, and repressive, it argues instead that Henry’s rule was based on reason and order.

C. Warren Hollister points out that Henry laid the foundations for judicial and financial institutions usually attributed to his grandson, Henry II. Royal government was centralized and systematized, leading to firm, stable, and peaceful rule for his subjects in both England and Normandy. By mid-reign Henry I was the most powerful king in Western Europe, and with astute diplomacy, an intelligence network, and strategic marriages of his children (legitimate and illegitimate), he was able to undermine the various coalitions mounted against him. Henry strove throughout his reign to solidify the Anglo-Norman dynasty, and his marriage linked the Normans to the Old English line.

Hollister vividly describes Henry’s life and reign, places them against the political background of the time, and provides analytical studies of the king and his magnates, the royal administration, and relations between king and church. The resulting volume is one that will be welcomed by students and general readers alike.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - k8_not_kate - LibraryThing

This is easily one of the most enjoyable, well written academic histories I have ever read. C. Warren Hollister's treatment of Henry I is sympathetic, but not hagiographical. He manages to write even ... Read full review

Review: Henry I (The English Monarchs)

User Review  - Duncan Wilson - Goodreads

I wanted to read about Henry I after he was referenced in a book about King John. I was expecting to read about a brutal king but what I found was a brilliant leader. C Warren Hollister makes a ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

C. Warren Hollister was professor of history emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara before his death in 1997.

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