King Rufus: The Life and Mysterious Death of William II of England

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History Publishing Group, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 287 pages
4 Reviews

This is a major new biography of England's most irreligious king, famously killed accidentally whilst hunting in the new forest. The future William II was born in the late 1050s the third son of William the Conqueror. The younger William—nicknamed Rufus because of his ruddy cheeks—at first had no great expectations of succeeding to the throne. The situation changed when Robert, the Conqueror's eldest son, repeatedly rebelled against his father, and Richard, the king's second son, was killed in a hunting accident in the New Forest. When the Conqueror was dying in 1087, he designated William as heir to the English throne. Emma Mason's biography tells the story of William Rufus, King of England from 1087-1100, and reveals for the first time the truth behind his death, in the thirteenth year of his troubled reign, settling one of medieval England's most enduring mysteries.

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User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This is a reassessment of the reign of this Norman king, his namesake father the Conqueror's immediate successor and generally thought of as one of the most obscure post-Conquest kings, best known ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BrianHostad - LibraryThing

Rather dry history, although it has a good evaluation of sources and Mason always makes it clears which sources are being used at any point in time. As for the "murder" this isn't dealt with in the ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Emma Mason was, until her recent retirement, Senior Lecturer in History at Birkbeck College, London. She has written extensively on medieval England, and William Rufus in particular. Her other books include, The House of Godwine: The History of a Dynasty, Norman Kingship, and Westminster Abbey & its People. She has contributed to several Radio 4 historical documentaries including Document and Historical Inquests.

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