Review: The Casual Historian presents The Early Plantagenets

By Kate Bryony

To tell you the truth, I don’t know that much about history. I love museums and I was probably one of the biggest Horrible Histories fans out there, but I don’t have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to the details. 

I was worried that reading anything to do with history would confuse me or just blind me with names and dates. When it comes to casual reading, I’m more used to celebrity memoirs or Jane Austen novels. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up this book. 

‘The Casual Historian presents The Early Plantagenets’ is an interesting, engaging look at that period in history. Written by Alan McLean, the book is written to be understood. Mclean has created a readable and enjoyable look at the history of these fascinating people. 

If I’m being honest, I had no idea who the Plantagenets were before reading this book. 

Ruling from 1154-1485, the dynasty-controlled England and large parts of France. 

I’ve always known that history can be interesting, but it hard to find books that really shows that. Alan McLean novel retells the ups and downs of the era, all with a docudrama style that works especially well. 

Under the guise of The Casual Historian, Mclean tells the story simply without skimping on any of the intrigue or information. The way this story is presented is unique and compelling. Many of us can feel intimidated when reading history books, it feels almost protected by academics and those who chose to gatekeep information. McLean has written this book in a way that gives anyone the chance to learn without making the reader feel stupid or lost. 

There were many chapters in this book that stood out, one of my favourites was chapter eight. In this chapter, Mclean cleverly illustrates a training montage, a la Rocky, complete with Eye of the Tiger lyrics. 

Something I found especially interesting throughout the book was just how much travelling went on during this era. If you’re an armchair tourist, this book might kill two birds with one stone. From weddings in Cyprus to trips to Jerusalem, there’s plenty of interesting locations featured in this book. 

I don’t want to give too much away, so if you want to find out more check out ‘The Casual Historian presents The Early Plantagenets’ written by Alan McLean. 

You can purchase the book by going to

A copy of the book was gifted in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a Reply