The Red Prince

Pages: 320
Subject: History
Imprint: Oneworld
Illustrations: 8-page colour plate section

The Red Prince

The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster

Helen Carr

Medieval history from a rising star in the field. A biography of one of the most important figures of the age, John of Gaunt.
9780861540822 (15 Apr 2021)
RRP £20.00 / US$30.00

The Book

John of Gaunt was son of Edward III, brother to the Black Prince, father to Henry IV and the forefather of the Tudors. His character and motivations have been hotly disputed: supposed usurper of Richard II's crown and a focus of hatred throughout the latter part of the fourteenth century, culminating in the dramatic Peasants' Revolt and the torching of his home, the Savoy Palace. Helen Carr will paint a complex portrait of a man who held the levers of power on the English and European stage, passionately upheld chivalric values, patronised early religious reform and supported a renaissance in art and literature in England …inspiring Shakespeare to characterise Gaunt in Richard II, in giving the most beautiful oration on England (‘this sceptred isle… this blessed plot'). An engrossing drama of political machinations, violence, romance and tragedy played out at the cusp of a new era.

Additional Information

Subject History
Pages 320
Imprint Oneworld
Illustrations 8-page colour plate section


About the Author

Helen is a medieval historian, writer and documentary history producer. She has produced history documentaries for leading channels such as the BBC, CNN and Sky and worked in radio for BBC Radio4's weekly programme In Our TimeHelen is a regular features writer for BBC History Magazine and has contributed to the New Statesman and History Extra. She is now studying for a PhD in medieval history and runs her own podcast, Hidden Histories available on iTunes. Follow her here: @HelenhCarr 


‘Helen Carr is a really exciting new talent in the world of history writing, whose work strikes a perfect balance between lucidity and scholarship. Her debut, The Red Prince, is a beautifully nuanced portrait of an oft misunderstood man.'

- Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire

‘Helen is smart, witty and is building an impressive media career. I have no doubt that she will be some sort of big shot before the decade is out.'

- Dan Jones

'Helen Carr is one of the most exciting and talented young historians out there. She has a passion for medieval history which is infectious and is always energetic and engaging, whether on the printed page or the screen.'

- Dan Snow