The English Friend
An illustrated biography of William de la Pole, first duke of Suffolk (1396–1450)

Featuring photographs of medieval stained glass by Mike Dixon

William de la Pole spent half his life fighting for the Lancastrian kings in France, in the later stages of the Hundred Years War. The war cost him his father and his four brothers. Taken prisoner, he lost a fortune paying his ransom – and gained two friends: his captor, the bastard of Orleans, and the bastard’s half-brother, the famous French poet Charles of Orleans. Suffolk, also a poet, was to become Orleans’ jailer. He spent the remainder of his life trying to bring about peace between England and France. It made him the most hated man in England.

This powerful true story of friendship, loyalty and treachery is the first full-length biography of an extraordinary man. It features two kings of England, Henry V and Henry VI; the astonishing Jeanne d’Arc; and the three loves of Suffolk’s life: Jacqueline of Hainault, a Flemish duchess; Malyne de Cay, a nun who bears his daughter; and the woman he marries, Alice Chaucer, grand-daughter to the poet.

Susan Curran uses a wide range of sources including contemporary documents and chronicles to bring Suffolk’s story to life.

The illustrations include photographs of the places Suffolk knew, and many stunning examples of medieval stained glass from England and France.

Some sample pages from the book:

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ISBN 978-0-9568758-0-8.
First published 2011.
304 pages, printed in full colour throughout.
Two maps, three genealogical tables. More than 200 illustrations.
Subject index and index of illustrations. Notes, bibliography and indexes.


Reviewers said: 'he certainly lived a colourful life, and that fact is reflected in this vivid biography' - Keiron Pim, Eastern Daily Press

'an insighful history of an age ... laid bare, raw, red and bloody' - The Connexion


More on the author - Susan Curran   / More on photographer - Mike Dixon