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What is it about Edward III that makes his political personality so elusive? Is it the fact that Shakespeare’s play about him has sat unrecognised for so long and lies outside the canon? That would certainly help to explain why Edward’s mighty victory at Crécy is less well known than Henry V’s at Agincourt, despite, arguably, being of greater historical importance.
Michael Hicks’s new book on the Wars of the Roses seeks to offer a general explanation of the civil wars that dominated English political life in the second half of the 15th century. Declaring that ‘many textbooks on Late Medieval England have been written by the best academic historians and survey what happened, and yet they still do not explain the Wars’ (p.
Jan Guillou is a well-known Swedish author, journalist and political commentator.
To a political historian, little is more important than politics (in the broad sense, as in the case of this book, incorporating religious division and the Reformation), and a book about a parliament is pre-eminently political.
Æthelstan might not, to the uninitiated, seem a very likely candidate for a volume in the prestigious Yale English Monarchs series. He lacks the name-recognition associated with a Conquerer or a Confessor, and is not the subject of any compelling anecdotes about beaches or cakes which have wormed their way into the popular consciousness.
‘When medieval men and women thought and wrote about power in the early Middle Ages – what it was, what it should be, what it had been – peace was never far from their thoughts’ (p. 271). Thus writes Paul Kershaw in the last paragraph of this important work on the ideas behind rulership but it explains perfectly the previous 270-odd pages.
The Carolingian period has long been seen as one of endings (of the Roman world; of the world of an integrated Mediterranean economy and culture) and even more, of beginnings (of the middle ages proper; of feudalism; of the nations that now make up western Europe; of Europe itself).
Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland is best viewed as six self-contained studies under two broad headings: ‘Land and law’ and ‘Land and people’.
This splendid volume of essays addresses the late Philip Jones’s seminal contribution to the historiography of late medieval and early Renaissance Italy, and takes its title directly from his most well-known and influential article on the subject. Both the topic and the timing of this publication are propitious.
This book examines the emergence and nature of the medieval kingdom of Norway. Professor Sverre Bagge’s study commences in the late 9th century when the earliest poetic sources first tell of one ruler, King Harald Fairhair, who extended his authority over coastal Norway at the expense of other regional rulers.