The Black Prince by Michael Jones

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: This has nothing to do with the musician. 

Quick synopsis: A complete biography of Edward, the Black Prince of England. 

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: He wasn’t actually black. The name comes from…. well honestly, we still don’t know. Might have been the black armor. He might have had a dark complexion. Might also be because he was a war-fighting badass and whooped the French. Choose your own adventure!  

He also died of dysentery. Yeah, like on the Oregon Trail!

Fun Fact for History Nerds: The whole “England owns parts of France” thing is always very confusing to me. This book does a great job actually explaining that part especially in reference to Edward and how it affected his life.   

My Take: Sometimes a book takes on a subject that most people will say, “I heard of him,” but actually they know nothing more than that. This is one of those books. 

I think even non-history folks will say they have heard of the Black Prince merely because his name is pretty cool, but they would fail to know anything else, including his name is Edward. Jones takes you through the entirety of Edward’s life and keeps the narrative flowing really well. I went from knowing very little about Edward to feeling like I knew all I can.  

And this is certainly a subject worthy of a full book. Edward is a bunch of contradictions and there is just enough mystery around him to make things really interesting. I would like to know where the hell his moniker came from. Seriously, it’s very frustrating. 

Verdict: Great book on a very interesting subject. Written for serious history readers and will not be a good read for a novice. 

If You Liked This Try: 

  • Justin Pollard, Alfred the Great 
  • Thomas Asbridge, The Greatest Knight 
  • Kristin Downey, Isabella 
  • Robert Massie, Peter the Great 
  • Elizabeth Lev, The Tigress of Forli 
  • Marc Morris, A Great and Terrible King 
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The Black Prince by Michael Jones
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