Articles & reviews

Here, you’ll find reviews of King of the North Wind, as well as articles about Henry II written by Claudia Gold.  There’s a link to the relevant web page, although please note that some articles may be behind a pay wall.

Royal reassessment – review by Laura Ashe

BBC History Magazine, September 2018

‘Claudia Gold has written a fast-paced, detailed account of Henry’s life drawing out the story’s narrative arc as a tragedy of rise and fall, of the vagaries of fortune and the flaws of individuals. She keeps scrupulously to the sources, while striving to give us a first-hand feel for events. The result is an accessable guide to the period through its key political players…’ Read more

‘Riotously entertaining’ – review, by Fergus Bulter-Gallie

The Times Saturday Review, 21 July 2018

‘Gold’s narrative is pacey (in just over 300 pages, the book covers five monarchs, a civil war and enough family rows to fill a year or so of Corrie subplots). The constant introduction of characters and their constant double-crossings could be confusing but Gold’s deft control of the narrative and a tight structure allow the reader to keep on top of it all…’ Read more

‘A colourful life of Henry II and his squabbles with his unruly children’ – review, by Dan Jones 

Sunday Times Culture Magazine, 15 July 2018

‘…Claudia Gold, whose last book was a biography of George I’s mistress, has taken on quite a task with her first leap into the Middle Ages. Henry nearly defeated the great WL Warren, whose 1973 study is still the standard life, despite the fact that it sprawls almost unreadably across place, time and theme, attempting to interrogate all the extraordinary but disparate developments in law, state-building, religious politics and intellectual culture that characterised his age. Gold takes a different approach, seeing that the best way to tell the story of Henry II’s reign is through the people…’ Read more

Book of the Month: King of the North Wind

History Revealed Magazine, August 2018

‘…An insightful, accessible introduction to a king who is often unfairly overlooked…’ Read more

Meet the Author

History Revealed Magazine, August 2018

You’ve definitely heard of sons Richard and John, but why are the life and deeds of Henry II so often glossed over? Claudia Gold hopes to open our eyes. Read more

Into the royal lion’s den: Henry II’s French kingdom

The Oldie Magazine, July 2018

One wet summer, I went to France to find what remains of Henry II. I dragged my reluctant young children and my husband around the Loire, searching for Henry – England’s unloved and uncelebrated, yet (to my mind) most magnificant monarch. Read more

Finding Henry

Times Literary Supplement, 26 June 2018

In the film of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter, Henry II (Peter O’Toole) and his queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn) spit verbal poison at one another while their sons and the King of France hide behind a curtain. Watching the film in my teens, I was enthralled, but it was, I thought, too gloriously dramatic to be true. Now, having spent the past four years researching and writing a biography of Henry II, I have realised not only how much of the story was indeed true, and how extraordinary Henry’s achievements were, but also how today the names of the people who surrounded him seem far more recognisable – Eleanor of Aquitaine, his friend-turned-enemy Archbishop Thomas Becket, his sons Richard the Lionheart and ‘bad’ King John. Why, compared to them, did Henry slip into the shadows of history? Read more