A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain


Author: Marc Morris
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1605987468
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 480
View: 7598

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The first major biography of a truly formidable king, whose reign was one of the most dramatic and important of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale. Edward I is familiar to millions as "Longshanks," conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (in "Braveheart"). Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king's action-packed life. Earlier, Edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled to the Holy Land; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers and constructing a magnificent chain of castles. He raised the greatest armies of the Middle Ages and summoned the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom.The longest-lived of England's medieval kings, he fathered fifteen children with his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, and, after her death, he erected the Eleanor Crosses—the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch. In this book, Marc Morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England's destiny—a sense shaped in particular by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. He also explores the competing reasons that led Edward's opponents (including Robert Bruce) to resist him. The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.

A Great and Terrible King

Edward I and the Forging of Britain
Author: Marc Morris
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446410285
Category: History
Page: 480
View: 3131

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This is the first major biography for a generation of a truly formidable king. Edward I is familiar to millions as 'Longshanks', conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace ('Braveheart'). Edward was born to rule England, but believed that it was his right to rule all of Britain. His reign was one of the most dramatic of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale, and leaving a legacy of division that has lasted from his day to our own. In his astonishingly action-packed life, Edward defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled across Europe to the Holy Land on crusade; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers, and constructed - at Conwy, Harlech, Beaumaris and Caernarfon - the most magnificent chain of castles ever created. After the death of his first wife he erected the Eleanor Crosses - the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.

A Great and Terrible King


Author: Marc Morris
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0099481758
Category: Great Britain
Page: 480
View: 3315

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The first popular biography of Edward I in a generation by a major new historian.

Edward I


Author: Michael Prestwich
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520062665
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 618
View: 7445

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Traces the life of King Edward I, describes the accomplishments of his reign, and attempts to depict his complex personality

Castles: Their History and Evolution in Medieval Britain


Author: Marc Morris
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681773953
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 4058

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From the author of The Norman Conquest and A Great and Terrible King comes a sweeping and stunning history of the most magnificent castles in Britain. Beginning with their introduction in the eleventh century, and ending with their widespread abandonment in the seventeenth, Marc Morris explores many of the country’s most famous castles, as well as some spectacular lesser-known examples. At times this is an epic tale, driven by characters like William the Conqueror, King John and Edward I, full of sieges and conquest on an awesome scale. But it is also by turns an intimate story of less eminent individuals, whose adventures, struggles and ambitions were reflected in the fortified residences they constructed. Be it ever so grand or ever so humble, a castle was first and foremost a home. To understand castles—who built them, who lived in them, and why—is to understand the forces that shaped medieval Britain.

The Norman Conquest

The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England
Author: Marc Morris
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453298967
Category: History
Page: 464
View: 909

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The riveting and authoritative bestsellinghistory hailed by the Times (London) as “a much-needed, modern account of the Normans in England.” The Norman Conquest was the most significant military—and cultural—episode in English history. An invasion on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans, it was capped by one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought. Language, law, architecture, and even attitudes toward life itself —from the destruction of the ancient ruling class to the sudden introduction of castles and the massive rebuilding of every major church—were altered forever by the coming of the Normans. But why was this revolution so total? Reassessing original evidence, acclaimed historian and broadcaster Marc Morris goes beyond the familiar story of William the Conqueror, an upstart French duke who defeated the most powerful kingdom in Christendom. Morris explains why England was so vulnerable to attack; why the Normans possessed the military cutting edge though they were perceived as less sophisticated in some respects; and why William’s hopes of a united Anglo-Norman realm unraveled, dashed by English rebellions, Viking invasions, and the insatiable demands of his fellow conquerors. Named one of the best books of the year by the Kansas City Star, who called the work “stunning in its action and drama,” and the Providence Journal, who hailed it “meticulous and absorbing,” this USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller is a tale of gripping drama, epic clashes, and seismic social change.

Isabella and the Strange Death of Edward II


Author: Paul Doherty
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1472112407
Category: History
Page: 160
View: 3438

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In chess, from the time of Queen Isabella of England, the queen has been considered the most powerful and feared piece on the board. Known to chroniclers as the 'she-wolf', Isabella, daughter of Philip IV of France, married King Edward II of England in 1308 in a union intended to create a lasting peace between the two countries. But after 13 years of enduring her husband's unkind and dissolute nature she fled abroad. With her lover, the exiled Roger Mortimer, she raised an army of mercenaries and invaded England, successfully deposing Edward. Popular belief holds that Edward was murdered in an infamous manner at Berkeley Castle near Gloucester, at the order of his wife and her lover. But after Mortimer's execution a letter arrived at court that cast doubt over Edward's death and raised the possibility of his escape. The evidence remains controversial to this day, and here Paul Doherty examines it in his fascinating detective study, set in one of the most turbulent and exciting periods of English history.

Edward II


Author: Kathryn Warner
Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited
ISBN: 1445641321
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 8356

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He is one of the most reviled English kings in history. He drove his kingdom to the brink of civil war a dozen times in less than twenty years. He allowed his male lovers to rule the kingdom. He led a great army to the most ignominious military defeat in English history. His wife took a lover and invaded his kingdom, and he ended his reign wandering around Wales with a handful of followers, pursued by an army. He was the first king of England forced to abdicate his throne. Popular legend has it that he died screaming impaled on a red-hot poker, but in fact the time and place of his death are shrouded in mystery. His life reads like an Elizabethan tragedy, full of passionate doomed love, bloody revenge, jealousy, hatred, vindictiveness and obsession. He was Edward II, and this book tells his story. The focus here is on his relationships with his male 'favourites' and his disaffected wife, on his unorthodox lifestyle and hobbies, and on the mystery surrounding his death. Using almost exclusively fourteenth-century sources and Edward s own letters and speeches wherever possible, Kathryn Warner strips away the myths which have been created about him over the centuries, and provides a far more accurate and vivid picture of him than has previously been seen.

The Greatest Traitor

The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England: 1327--1330
Author: Ian Mortimer
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1466851392
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 400
View: 3483

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One night in August 1323, a captive rebel baron, Sir Roger Mortimer, drugged his guards and escaped from the Tower of London. With the king's men-at-arms in pursuit he fled to the south coast and sailed to France. There he was joined by Isabella, the Queen of England, who threw herself into his arms. A year later, as lovers, they returned with an invading army: King Edward II's forces crumbled before them and Mortimer took power. He removed Edward II in the first deposition of a monarch in British history. Then the ex-king was apparently murdered, some said with a red-hot poker, in Berkeley Castle. Brutal, intelligent, passionate, profligate, imaginative, and violent, Sir Roger Mortimer was an extraordinary character. It is not surprising that the Queen lost her heart to him. Nor is it surprising that his contemporaries were terrified of him. But until now no one has appreciated the full evil genius of the man. This first biography, The Greatest Traitor by Ian Mortimer, reveals not only Mortimer's career as a feudal lord, a governor of Ireland, a rebel leader, and a dictator of England, but also the truth of what happened that night in Berkeley Castle.

Eleanor of Castile

The Shadow Queen
Author: Sara Cockerill
Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited
ISBN: 1445636050
Category: History
Page: 448
View: 5244

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Eleanor of Castile, the remarkable woman behind England's greatest medieval king, Edward I, has been effectively airbrushed from history; yet she had one of the most fascinating lives of any of England's queens. Her childhood was spent in the centre of the Spanish reconquest and was dominated by her military hero of a father (St Ferdinand) and her prodigiously clever brother (King Alfonso X the Learned). Married at the age of twelve and a mother at thirteen, she gave birth to at least sixteen children, most of whom died young. She was a prisoner for a year amid a civil war in which her husband s life was in acute danger. Devoted to Edward, she accompanied him everywhere, including on Crusade to the Holy Land. All in all, she was to live for extended periods in five different countries. Eleanor was a highly dynamic, forceful personality who acted as part of Edward s innermost circle of advisers, and successfully accumulated a vast property empire for the English Crown. In cultural terms her influence in architecture and design and even gardening can be discerned to this day, while her idealised image still speaks to us from Edward s beautiful memorials to her, the Eleanor crosses. This book reveals her untold story.

Stephen and Matilda


Author: Jim Bradbury
Publisher: The History Press
ISBN: 0752471929
Category: History
Page: 272
View: 2061

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Stephen's reign was one of the darkest periods of English history. He had promised Henry I that he would support the king's daughter, Matilda, as the rightful heir to the English throne, but when Henry died in December, 1135, he broke his promise and quickly made himself king. Like man of the nobles, he was unwilling to yield the crown to a woman. Civil war and the battle for the English Crown dominated his reign, and this fascinating book examines the conflict between Stephen and his cousin. The campaigns, battles, and sieges of England's first civil war are explored, including the two major battles at the Standard and Lincoln, which show that Stephen always held more ground than his opponents and was mostly on the offensive. The two sides finally reached a compromise, after 14 years, with the Treaty of Wallingford—Stephen would rule unopposed until his death, but the throne would then pass to Henry of Anjou, Matilda's son. Full of colorful characters, this is a fascinating story of rivalry for the English throne which throws new light on a neglected aspect of Stephen's reign

The Gothic King

A Biography of Henry III
Author: John Paul Davis
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
ISBN: 0720615429
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 240
View: 3406

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The first biography in many years of Henry IIIThe son and successor of Bad King John, Henry III reigned for 56 years from 1216, the first child king in England for 200 years. England went on to prosper during his reign and his greatest monument is Westminster Abbey, which he made the seat of his government—indeed, Henry III was the first English King to call a parliament. Though often overlooked by historians, Henry III was a unique figure coming out of a chivalric yet Gothic era: a compulsive builder of daunting castles and epic sepulchres; a powerful, unyielding monarch who faced down the De Montfort rebellion and waged war with Wales and France; and, much more than his father, Henry was the king who really hammered out the terms of the Magna Carta with the barons. John Paul Davis brings all his forensic skills and insights to the grand story of the Gothic King in this, the only biography in print of a most remarkable monarch.

The Welsh Castles of Edward I


Author: N.A
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0907628710
Category: Architecture
Page: 129
View: 9940

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Arnold Taylor, the leading expert on the subject, provides an authoritative guide to the castles, begun between 1277 and 1295, in a short compass. He deals with their joint and individual features, dates, planning and construction.

William I (Penguin Monarchs)

England's Conqueror
Author: Marc Morris
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 014197785X
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 160
View: 2508

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On Christmas Day 1066, William, duke of Normandy was crowned in Westminster, the first Norman king of England. It was a disaster: soldiers outside, thinking shouts of acclamation were treachery, torched the surrounding buildings. To later chroniclers, it was an omen of the catastrophes to come. During the reign of William the Conqueror, England experienced greater and more seismic change than at any point before or since. Marc Morris's concise and gripping biography sifts through the sources of the time to give a fresh view of the man who changed England more than any other, as old ruling elites were swept away, enemies at home and abroad (including those in his closest family) were crushed, swathes of the country were devastated and the map of the nation itself was redrawn, giving greater power than ever to the king. When, towards the end of his reign, William undertook a great survey of his new lands, his subjects compared it to the last judgement of God, the Domesday Book. England had been transformed forever.

The Greatest Knight

The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones
Author: Thomas Asbridge
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062262076
Category: History
Page: 464
View: 9888

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A renowned scholar brings to life medieval England’s most celebrated knight, William Marshal—providing an unprecedented and intimate view of this age and the legendary warrior class that shaped it. Caught on the wrong side of an English civil war and condemned by his father to the gallows at age five, William Marshal defied all odds to become one of England’s most celebrated knights. Thomas Asbridge’s rousing narrative chronicles William’s rise, using his life as a prism to view the origins, experiences, and influence of the knight in British history. In William’s day, the brutish realities of war and politics collided with romanticized myths about an Arthurian “golden age,” giving rise to a new chivalric ideal. Asbridge details the training rituals, weaponry, and battle tactics of knighthood, and explores the codes of chivalry and courtliness that shaped their daily lives. These skills were essential to survive one of the most turbulent periods in English history—an era of striking transformation, as the West emerged from the Dark Ages. A leading retainer of five English kings, Marshal served the great figures of this age, from Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine to Richard the Lionheart and his infamous brother John, and was involved in some of the most critical phases of medieval history, from the Magna Carta to the survival of the Angevin/Plantagenet dynasty. Asbridge introduces this storied knight to modern readers and places him firmly in the context of the majesty, passion, and bloody intrigue of the Middle Ages. The Greatest Knight features 16 pages of black-and-white and color illustrations.

The Perfect King

The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation
Author: Ian Mortimer
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1407066420
Category: History
Page: 560
View: 4716

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He ordered his uncle to be beheaded; he usurped his father's throne; he started a war which lasted for more than a hundred years, and taxed his people more than any other previous king. Yet for centuries Edward III was celebrated as the most brilliant king England had ever had, and three hundred years after his death it was said that his kingship was perhaps the greatest that the world had ever known. In this first full study of the man's character and life, Ian Mortimer shows how Edward personally provided the impetus for much of the drama of his fifty-year reign. Under him the feudal kingdom of England became a highly organised nation and experienced its longest period of domestic peace in the middle ages. Nineteenth century historians saw in Edward the opportunity to decry a warmonger, and painted him as a self-seeking, rapacious, tax-gathering conqueror. Yet as this book shows, beneath the strong warrior king was a compassionate, conscientious and often merciful man - resolute yet devoted to his wife, friends and family. He emerges as a strikingly modern figure, to whom many will be able to relate - the father of both the English nation and the English people.

Robert The Bruce: King Of Scots


Author: Ronald McNair Scott
Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 1847677460
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 9049

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Robert the Bruce had himself crowned King of Scots at Scone on a frozen March morning in 1306. After years of struggle, Scotland had been reduced to a vassal state by Edward I of England and its people lived in poverty. On the day he seized the crown Bruce renewed the fight for Scotland's freedom, and let forth a battle cry that would echo through the centuries. Using contemporary accounts, Ronald McNair Scott tells the story of Scotland's legendary leader, and one of Europe's most remarkable medieval kings. It is a story with episodes as romantic as those of King Arthur, but also one which belongs in the annals of Scottish History, and has shaped a nation.