'In Shakespeare's Richard II, John of Gaunt gives the this scepter'd isle... this England speech. This vivid history brings to life his princely ambitions and passion.'
-- The Times
, Best Books of 2021
'Helen Carr has captured the drama of [John of Gaunt's] life and the tensions inherent in it in a compelling portrait. In so doing, she reminds us of the contradictions of a period remote from our own, not just in time but in values and beliefs too... Carr has brought to life one of the major figures of medieval England.'
-- Linda Porter, Literary Review
'The Red Prince is not...just a book of battles and wars. Carr's John of Gaunt is a man who loved as passionately as he fought... Carr's sensitive use of contemporary sources paints a poignant deathbed scene... in The Red Prince it is the towering figure of John of Gaunt, a thoroughly European Englishman, who takes centre stage and it's a stirring and memorable performance.'
-- Leanda de Lisle, The Times
'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
'Superb, gripping and fascinating, here is John of Gaunt and a cast of kings, killers and queens brought blazingly, sensitively and swashbucklingly to life. An outstanding debut.'
-- Simon Sebag Montefiore
'A long overdue reappraisal of one of medieval England's greatest but most enigmatic figures. The Red Prince announces Helen Carr as one of the most exciting new voices in narrative history.'
-- Dan Jones, author of the Plantagenets and The Hollow Crown
'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
'Deploying vivid and compelling prose alongside her considerable scholarship, Helen Carr fully succeeds in restoring John of Gaunt to his rightful place - in the first rank of medieval princes. This is an excellent book, that brings the fourteenth century back to life through a thoughtful parade of intriguing characters - none more fascinating than John of Gaunt himself.'
-- Charles Spencer, bestselling author of Blenheim and Killers of the King
'John of Gaunt is a name to conjure with - an English duke who sought to become a king in Spain, a complicated, controversial man to whom, as 'time-honour'd Lancaster', Shakespeare gives one of his greatest speeches. Helen Carr puts him centre stage: The Red Prince is the rattling good story of a life lived on an epic scale, told with care, insight and humanity.'
-- Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves and Joan of Arc
'Helen Carr tells the gripping story of John of Gaunt's dramatic and controversial career, from the wars he waged across Europe to the political intrigue and rebellion he faced at home, and above all the way in which his life was marked by profound love, and loss. This is an engaging and moving portrait of one of the leading figures of the Hundred Years War.'
-- Sophie Therese Ambler, author of The Song of Simon de Montfort