Costain was a historical novelist and this book was written in 1949; it is very much of its time. The narrative is told in broad strokes with little of the modern historian's care for close examination of alternative sources. It reminded me of A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens: much of the tales it tells serve either a romantic of a moral purpose. He has affectations: low grade priests are regularly referred to as 'shaven-polls' and he loves giving the correct words for parts of armour. But it is a good read.
A more historical account of these times (and a deeper and more fulfilling need even if it does 300 years in 600 pages) might be found in The Plantagenets by Dan Jones.
May 2015; 344 pages
Other books in this trilogy include
- The Magnificent Century
- The Three Edwards