In this new BBC Two three-part documentary series, Professor Robert Bartlett reveals the dramatic stories behind England’s longest ruling dynasty, the Plantagenets.
In the first episode, The Devil’s Brood, Professor Bartlett begins his investigation into this complex dynasty by looking at the reign of the peripatetic King, Henry II. Henry inherited his lands on the Continent from his father, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou. It was with this that Henry was able to forge such an expansive empire throughout England and most of France, so much so that he, ironically, ruled over more of France than the French King himself.
Bartlett reveals to audiences the unpredictable lives of just a number of the characters which dominated the events surrounding the formation of the Angevin Empire, including Eleanor of Aquitaine, the infamous Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett, and Henry’s sons, Richard ‘the Lionheart’ and John.
Bartlett describes in detail the severity of the events leading up to Richard and John’s attempts at overthrowing their father’s crown, whilst under the encouragement of their tempestuous mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The Devil’s Brood will be broadcasted on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday 17th March and will be available to watch online soon after the first broadcast.
The first episode was produced and directed by Jamie Simpson.
Photo credit: BBC/Jamie Simpson