The historian introduces his biography of King John – a ruler managing the aftermath of another ruinous Crusade, conflicts with France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, excommunication, taxation and some very demanding Nobles. King John is familiar to everyone as the villain from the tales of Robin Hood — greedy, cowardly, despicable and cruel. But who was the man behind the legend? Was he truly a monster, or a capable ruler cursed by ill luck? In this talk, the historian draws on contemporary chronicles and the king's own letters to bring the real John vividly to life.