Professor Robert Bartlett tells the extraordinary story of England's most dysfunctional, yet longest-ruling, royal dynasty. Henry II forges a mighty empire encompassing England and much of France. His sons, Richard the Lionheart and John, then turn on their father and each other, bringing the dynasty to the edge of annihilation. Professor Robert Bartlett continues the remarkable story of the Plantagenets. England's longest-reigning royal dynasty fights to expand their power across the British Isles and win back their lands in France. In this golden age of chivalry, a clear sense of English nationhood emerges and parliament is born. Professor Robert Bartlett charts the downfall of the Plantagenet dynasty. In the last century of their rule, four Plantagenet kings are violently deposed and murdered by members of their own family. It is the bloodiest episode in the entire history of the English monarchy. As the Plantagenets turn in on themselves, England is dragged into decades of brutal civil war.