The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, Ruler of England, 1327-1330

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Pimlico, 2004 - Great Britain - 377 pages
2 Reviews
One night in August 1323 a captive rebel baron, Sir Roger Mortimer, drugged his guards and escaped from the Tower of London. With the king's men-at-arms in pursuit he fled to the south coast, and sailed to France. There he was joined by Isabella, the Queen of England, who threw herself into his arms. A year later, as lovers, they returned with an invading army: King Edward II's forces crumbled before them, and Mortimer took power. He removed Edward II in the first deposition of a monarch in British history. Then the ex-king was apparently murdered, some said with a red-hot poker, in Berkeley Castle. Brutal, intelligent, passionate, profligate, imaginative and violent: Sir Roger Mortimer was an extraordinary character. It is not surprising that the queen lost her heart to him. Nor is it surprising that his contemporaries were terrified of him. But until now no one has appreciated the full evil genius of the man. This first biography reveals not only the man's career as a feudal lord, a governor of Ireland, a rebel leader and a dictator of England but also the truth of what happened that night in Berkeley Castle.

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

Pretty well written biography of an English strong man who did have nearly complete power in England, bridging the days of Edward II and Edward III. There is an explanation for some evidence that ... Read full review

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User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

In the contest between Edward II and his barons, you never knew what would come next. So it is, too, with this book. Although listed as a biography of Roger Mortimer, most of the meat of it is really ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Ian Mortimer has BA and PhD degrees in history from Exeter University and an MA in archive studies from University College London. From 1991 to 2003 he worked in turns for Devon Record Office, Reading University, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, and Exeter University. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1998. In March 2006, the second of his medieval biogrpahies, The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation was published by Jonathan Cape. He was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) by the Royal historical Society for his work on the social history of medicine. His The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-Made King will be published by Cape in 2007. He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor.

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