A figure of paradox in his own day, the life and character of Simon de Montfort remain controversial today, more than 750 years after he died on the bloody field of Evesham. Medieval chroniclers such as his contemporary, Matthew Paris, portray Earl Simon a a charismatic, yet at times dictatorial, an able military strategist who also cultivated the friendship and guidance of some of Western Europe’s foremost religious leaders. Ironically, he was a critic of England’s king, Henry III, for the favouritism he showed towards foreigners, while being himself a favoured foreigner.
Patrick Rooke has written an enlightened and engaging summary of the life of a man who changed the course of history for all time and who gave the world the enduring legend of an enigmatic adventurer.
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