(Review) Within The Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Publication Date: March 6, 2010. Originally published 1948.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark. Reprint edition.
Genre: Historical fiction, Richard II, Richard III, Anne of Bohemia, British history, British monarchy.
Pages: 368.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 2 stars for okay.


Within the Hollow Crown is the story of Richard II (1367-1400), the son of the Black Prince (eldest son of Edward III), and nephew of King Richard the Lionheart.
The story begins when Richard is a young boy of ten. His father has just died. His life is about to make a dramatic change.
The story follows the course of life during his reign. His marriage to Anne of Bohemia, and later marriage to Isabelle, daughter of Charles VI of France. The peasants revolt, political factions, Richard's personality and way of dealing with strife, and Henry Bolingbroke's overthrow of Richard are all depicted.

My Thoughts:
Richard II is one of my least favorite kings to read. I bought Within the Hollow Crown at a going out- of-business independent bookstore sale. I'd heard positive comments on the historical fiction author, Margaret Campbell Barnes, and wanted to read one of her books.
It's hard to write a review where I'm not excited about the main character, nor the story itself. My review will be mediocre at best.
I do believe the author captured Richard's personality and feelings about his role as a king. He was lonely and insecure at times.
He loved Anne of Bohemia. He thought of her even after her death.
Richard was the younger son and had not been expected to become king. He wished to go back to the days before he was king.
War and political intrigue bored him.
As a youth he felt set-apart.
I am different. There's something inside me that no one can touch-only God perhaps. Something I've got to guard from ridicule or-or any sort of indignity. That's why, although I'm not in the least ambitious personally, I feel I must struggle to do even the things I'm not good at well enough not to make a fool of myself in front of people. 
Barnes states Richard II was age eleven when he became king, but he was age ten. He was born 6 of January 1367. He was crowned king on 16 July 1377.
Richard II, King of England, from Britannica.