7 March 2019

Book Launch: Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI, by Lauren Johnson


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

A thrilling new account of the tragic life and troubled times of Henry VI.
First-born son of a warrior father who defeated the French at Agincourt, Henry VI of the House Lancaster inherited the crown not only of England but also of France, at a time when Plantagenet dominance over the Valois dynasty was at its glorious height.

And yet, by the time he was done to death in the Tower of London in 1471, France was lost, his throne had been seized by his rival, Edward IV of the House of York, and his kingdom had descended into the violent chaos of the Wars of the Roses.

Henry VI is perhaps the most troubled of English monarchs, a pious, gentle, well-intentioned man who was plagued by bouts of mental illness. In Shadow King, Lauren Johnson tells his remarkable and sometimes shocking story in a fast-paced and colourful narrative that captures both the poignancy of Henry's life and the tumultuous and bloody nature of the times in which he lived.
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“Lauren Johnson has done something extraordinary. The Shadow King is the best life of Henry VI now in print: a triumph of elegant and spirited biography, deeply researched and beautifully written.”
Dan Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Plantagenets

“Vivid, absorbing, and richly detailed, The Shadow King is an intriguing account of a monarch who has often seemed no more than a cypher, putting him back at the heart of his own dramatic reign.”
Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves



About the Author

Lauren Johnson is a historian and costumed interpreter with a first-class degree from Oxford University. Her debut novel The Arrow of Sherwood, an origin story of Robin Hood rooted in a real, brutal medieval world, was named one of Medievalists.net’s books of the year. Lauren has appeared on Channel 4, BBC4, BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Radio Somerset. Lauren is co-founder of Untold, a theatre company that creates ensemble-driven devised work and new writing to tell stories that have been marginalised in history and the modern day. Lauren has worked in live costumed interpretation since 2008, based at major heritage sites including the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. She has also worked with Historic Royal Palaces, the charity who administer Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Hillsborough Castle, chairing historical debates and creating on-site digital missions for families and schools. Find out more at Lauren's website and find her on Twitter @History_Lauren

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