The King Without a Kingdom

BOOK: The King Without a Kingdom
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an imprint of

Publishers Ltd

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

First published in Great Britain by HarperCollins

Copyright © Maurice Druon 1977

This translation copyright © Andrew Simpkin 2014

First published in French as
Quand un Roi perd la France

Cover Layout Design © HarperCollins
Ltd 2015

Jacket digital illustration © Patrick Knowles

Jacket photograph © Antiquarian Images (map)

Maurice Druon asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780007491377

Ebook Edition © January 2015 ISBN: 9780007492275

Version: 2014-11-29

‘Our longest war, the Hundred Years War, was merely a legal debate, interspersed with occasional bouts of armed warfare’




Title Page




Author’s Acknowledgements

Family Tree



Part One: Misfortunes Come From Long Ago

1. The Cardinal of Périgord thinks …

2. The Cardinal of Périgord speaks

3. Death knocks on every door

4. The Cardinal and the Stars

5. The Beginnings of the King they call The Good

6. The Beginnings of the King they call The Bad

7. News from Paris

8. The Treaty of Mantes

9. The Bad in Avignon

10. The Annus Horribilis

11. The Kingdom Cracks

Part Two: The Banquet of Rouen

1. Exemptions and Benefits

2. The Anger of the King

3. To Rouen

4. The Banquet

5. The Arrest

6. The Preparations

7. The Field of Forgiveness

Part Three: The Lost Spring

1. The Hound and the Fox Cub

2. The Nation of England

3. The Pope and the World

Part Four: The Summer of Disaster

1. The Norman Chevauchée

2. The Siege of Breteuil

3. The Homage of Phoebus

4. The Camp of Chartres

5. The Prince of Aquitaine

6. The Cardinal’s Approach

7. The Hand of God

8. The Battalion of the King

9. The Prince’s Supper

Translator’s notes and historical explanations

By Maurice Druon

About the Publisher


Over the years, more than one reviewer has described my fantasy series,
A Song of Ice and Fire
, as historical fiction about history that never happened, flavoured with a dash of sorcery and spiced with dragons. I take that as a compliment. I have always regarded historical fiction and fantasy as sisters under the skin, two genres separated at birth. My own series draws on both traditions … and while I undoubtedly drew much of my inspiration from Tolkien, Vance, Howard, and the other fantasists who came before me,
A Game of Thrones
and its sequels were also influenced by the works of great historical novelists like Thomas B. Costain, Mika Waltari, Howard Pyle … and Maurice Druon, the amazing French writer who gave us the
The Accursed Kings
, seven splendid novels that chronicle the downfall of the Capetian kings and the beginnings of the Hundred Years War.

Druon’s novels have not been easy to find, especially in English translation (and the seventh and final volume was never translated into English at all). The series has
been made into a television series in France, and both versions are available on DVD … but only in French, undubbed, and without English subtitles. Very frustrating for English speaking Druon fans like me.

The Accursed Kings
has it all. Iron kings and strangled queens, battles and betrayals, lies and lust, deception, family rivalries, the curse of the Templars, babies switched at birth, she-wolves, sin, and swords, the doom of a great dynasty … and all of it (well, most of it) straight from the pages of history. And believe me, the Starks and the Lannisters have nothing on the Capets and Plantagenets.

Whether you’re a history buff or a fantasy fan, Druon’s epic will keep you turning pages. This was the original game of thrones. If you like
A Song of Ice and Fire
, you will love
The Accursed Kings

George R.R. Martin

Author’s Acknowledgements

I am most grateful to Jacques Suffel for his assistance in gathering and compiling the documentation for this book. I would also like to express my thanks to the
Bibliothèque Nationale
as well as to the
Archives de France

Family Tree
Kingdom of France map


great men: but those tragedies are provoked by the mediocre.

BOOK: The King Without a Kingdom
8.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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