The Medieval World
The Illustrated History of the Middle Ages
Arranged thematically, this historical survey begins by tracing the growth of dynasties and empires, from the Carolingians to the Ottomans. Further sections cover warfare and conquest (in particular the Crusades and the Hundred Years’ War), as well as daily life under the feudal system and developments in religion and culture. Also featured are photographs of medieval maps, artworks and significant documents such as Magna Carta and Joan of Arc’s final letter. Includes material previously published in The Middle Ages.
The Norman Conquest
William the Conqueror's Subjugation of England
Did the Normans bring civilization to England and enable stronger links with continental Europe? Was William’s victory the result of supreme strategy – or just luck? As new discoveries have cast doubt on the traditional picture of 1066, Cole reassesses the evidence for the Conquest and its effects. Explaining the background to the invasion, she highlights the long development of English relations with Normans and Scandinavians; describing the aftermath, she considers how the conquerors crushed resistance and exploited the kingdom’s riches.
The Development of Medieval North Atlantic Identities
Looking beyond the warlike Viking stereotypes, this study demonstrates how distinct identities developed in the North Atlantic islands that were settled by the Norse as they migrated from their Scandinavian homelands between 800 and 1250. Knight uses evidence from archaeological sites and texts including sagas and law codes to examine the settlement, economy and lifestyle of three zones, following the settlers’ progress from Shetland and the Faroe Islands, via Iceland, to Greenland.
An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry
The Landscapes, Buildings and Places
Trevor Rowley, an authority on the Normans and landscape history, focuses on the mid 11th-century landscapes in North-western France and England in which the epic events portrayed by the Bayeux Tapestry took place. Following those events, from Earl Harold’s journeys to Bosham and France to the Battle of Hastings, Rowley describes, with photographs and diagrams, the archaeological evidence and existing sites of the buildings and places represented and sometimes named on the Tapestry.
And the Road to Magna Carta
On the death of Richard I in 1199, his brother John took possession of the vast Angevin lands in England and France. By the time of his own death in 1215, King John had lost control of the continental lordships, England was facing invasion, and his English subjects had confronted him with the Magna Carta. Church's study of John approaches the king as a man ill-suited to his position of power, who came to be seen by his contemporaries as a tyrant.
The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses that convulsed 15th-century England sprang from a family quarrel as fraught and intimate as any before or since. It is often viewed in terms of its male protagonists but, as this history makes clear, women played a key role, among them the Yorkist matriarch Cecily Neville; Margaret of Anjou, formidable wife of the mad King Henry VI; and Margaret Beaufort, whose ambition for her son ushered in the Tudor dynasty.
A Year in the Life of Plantagenet England
The year 1215 is remembered for King John’s reluctant granting of Magna Carta, but the famous meeting at Runnymede is just one episode in the year’s story of political, constitutional and religious upheaval. The author of The Hollow Crown here combines a narrative of high politics and civil war with the evidence for everyday life to show how these transformative months were experienced by people at different levels of English society.
Long Live the King
The Mysterious Fate of Edward II
The brutal murder of Edward II with a red-hot poker at Berkeley Castle is perhaps the most infamous of all royal deaths – but is it true? A remarkable document discovered in a Montpellier archive more than a century ago claims that he escaped to Ireland before making his way to Italy, where he lived as a hermit. This historical investigation charts his reign and his downfall, before carefully evaluating all the evidence for and against his survival.
Representing War and Violence
From crusade and conquest to self-mortification, violence took many forms in the Middle Ages. In nine essays, this multi-disciplinary volume explores how violence and conflict were represented and narrated in medieval and early modern works ranging from the Alliterative Morte Arthure to Tudor narratives of the fall of Calais in 1558.
A History of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, 1257–1301
Simon of Luton and John of Northwold
St Edmund’s Abbey, one of the country’s wealthiest religious houses, was closely involved with the central government of medieval England. This history, which covers the rule of two 13th-century abbots, uses evidence from the abbey’s extensive surviving records to provide insights into its governance and economy in difficult times as well as its religious, intellectual and cultural life. The monks’ dietary regime is examined in an appendix featuring recipes from the archives.
Health and the City
Disease, Environment and Government in Norwich, 1200–1575
In 1559, the physician William Cunningham published The Cosmographical Glasse, focusing on Norwich as an exceptionally ‘healthfull and pleasant city’. Isla Fay’s book explores the philosophy that linked a city’s location and landscape with its health, and the practical realities of Norwich’s ‘vibrant, native culture of urban hygiene’.
Queens of the Conquest
England's Medieval Queens: Book One
Piecing together the fragments of fact and stripping away the legends that surround England’s medieval queens, Alison Weir presents fresh, balanced and authoritative biographies of her cast of ‘heroines, villains, Amazons, stateswomen, adulteresses and lovers’. This first volume covers the lives of the Norman queens: Matilda of Flanders (1032?–1083), the wife of William the Conqueror; Henry I’s queen, Matilda of Scotland; Adeliza of Louvain; Matilda of Boulogne and the Empress Maud (1102–1167), whose second husband was Geoffrey ‘Plantagenet’, Count of Anjou. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
The True Origins of the Once and Future King
Adam Ardrey follows up the detective work in his Finding Merlin with this account of his wider investigations into the legend of King Arthur. He reaches the startling conclusion that the historical Arthur came from Scotland, and also presents evidence to suggest that some of the story’s most familiar features – the Round Table, the Sword in the Stone and the Lady of the Lake – have their origins in the landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.
Brother, Protector, King
The loyal brother of Edward IV, Richard was entrusted as Protector of Edward’s son and heir, but in 1483 he took the crown himself while his nephews, Edward V and Prince Richard, disappeared. It was widely rumoured that the king had murdered his brother’s sons. Avoiding the bias of Richard’s evil reputation, this narrative history of his life and reign returns to original sources and looks in depth at contemporary politics, Richard’s earlier years and northern affinity, and how he constructed his own power base.
Everyday Lives in Medieval England
Beginning with the Wife of Bath and what she can tell us of the wool trade and matrimony, each of Chaucer’s 23 pilgrims on the road to Canterbury illuminates several aspects of 14th-century life in this unusual social history. From close readings of the Ploughman, the Miller, the Reeve and the Franklin the practicalities of rural life are revealed; while other pilgrims, from ‘Mine Host’ to the Shipman, provide the detail and inspire discussion of city, religious and military life.
Britain's Medieval Episcopal Thrones
History, Archaeology and Conservation
Six episcopal thrones survive from 14th-century cathedral churches. In this scholarly volume, Charles Tracy presents in-depth studies of the timber thrones in Exeter, St David’s and Hereford Cathedrals and the impressive, canopied oak bishop’s chair in Lincoln; and Andrew Budge contributes a chapter on the two stone episcopal thrones at Wells and Durham Cathedrals. There is much additional information in appendices, and the studies are lavishly illustrated with photographs, plans and line drawings of the thrones.
Preaching, Building, and Burying
Friars in the Medieval City
By preaching in the open and visiting lay people at home, mendicant friars took religion outside church buildings. Yet, despite their dedication to apostolic poverty, the friars were criticized for their churches’ considerable size. In her study of the ‘social lives of buildings’, Bruzelius describes how friars’ activities shaped the interior and exterior spaces of medieval cities; in particular explaining how individual donors’ requests for intercessory prayers and burial rights led to the episodic expansion and decoration of the friars’ convents.
Learning to Die in London, 1380–1540
In this study of Middle English texts on the 'art of dying', including the Visitation of the Sick, Erasmus' Preparation to Death and Lydgate's Dance of Death, Appleford shows that an educated awareness of death and mortality was a vital aspect of medieval civic culture.
Vivid Lives in a Distant Landscape from Charlemagne to Piero della Francesca
Ranging from the 9th century to the 15th, this collection of short biographies introduces 70 notable men and women from Europe and the Middle East. Dispelling popular myths about the medieval world’s ‘backwardness’, the book highlights the achievements of familiar figures such as Joan of Arc, the Venetian traveller Marco Polo and Persian polymath Avicenna, as well as lesser-known individuals such as the clockmaker and leper Richard of Wallingford. More than 170 colour illustrations complement the text.
Texts in Translation
The central and later Middle Ages were a critical formative period for the Italian peninsula, which lay at the centre of trading networks stretching from Britain to Byzantium. This volume’s 120 newly translated sources range in date from c.1000 to the early 15th century. They illustrate the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of medieval Italy, highlighting both its continuities with the Latin West and the ways in which it was exceptional, such as its new communal forms of government.
Conquerors, Brides, and Concubines
Interfaith Relations and Social Power in Medieval Iberia
Simon Barton investigates the political and cultural significance of marriages and other sexual encounters between Christians and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula, from the Islamic conquest in the early eighth century to the fall of Granada and the end of Muslim rule in 1492.
Authorship and Publicity Before Print
Jean Gerson and the Transformation of Late Medieval Learning
Daniel Hobbins looks beyond the ecclesiastical career of Jean Gerson (1363–1429) to present the French theologian as representative of his wider cultural era and an author active at a time when written culture was rapidly expanding.
The Business of War
Medieval mercenaries were more than just well-armed, freebooting thugs; they were noblemen, too, who took advantage of political chaos to further their own interests. From early Italian mercenaries to the private armies spawned during the Hundred Years War, this intelligent survey of Europe’s freelance fighters describes the many mercenary bands who killed, looted and ransomed their way across Europe’s heartlands, referencing the popular literature, including Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Conan Doyle and Mark Twain, that has guaranteed their place in the collective imagination.
Pope Gregory X and the Crusades
Studies in the History of Medieval Religion: Volume XLI
Pope Gregory X (1271–1276) died before the crusade he planned could be launched; but Baldwin uses a study of Gregory’s preparations to reveal the changing nature of crusading and particularly the passagium particulare.
Architecture, Piety, and Political Identity in a Tuscan City-State
In its architecture, politics, religion and daily life, the commune of Prato between the 11th and 14th centuries was typical of late medieval Italy. This richly illustrated history, telling the story of Prato’s origins, construction and demise, illustrates how the medieval communes differed from imperial Rome in their ambition to serve the welfare of residents; and it emphasizes the role of architecture in the city-state’s version of democratic urban life.
Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages
The focus of these eleven essays is the complex relationship between masculinity and religion, with topics ranging widely to include studies of the rabbis of Babylonian Talmud; narratives of the First Crusade; and why men became monks in late medieval England.
The History and Legends of Viking England
After a brief history of the ‘Viking Age’, which saw the movement of peoples from Scandinavia to the British Isles, Eleanor Parker turns to medieval chronicles and legends about the Vikings or ‘Danes’. Although the medieval narratives often portray the Scandinavians as raiders whose purpose was plunder and destruction, Parker’s close study of the stories reveals other motives – including participation in English politics and the need to settle – and she traces the positive Viking contribution to culture and identity in England.
Although denied the privileged status of men, medieval women had a great variety of roles and vocations, and their lives were shaped by many different geographical, political, legal and religious factors. This volume draws on the riches of the British Library’s manuscript collection to explore, through texts and miniatures, the diversity within medieval women’s experience. Whether aristocrats or servants, it looks at women in their roles as lovers, wives, mothers, intellectuals, women of God and patrons of literature.
In Search of England's Lost King
Francis Young, himself at the forefront of the search to locate the lost coffin of King Edmund, tells the story of the historical search for the real man behind the legendary East Anglian king killed by the Vikings in 869. The book traces Edmund’s progress from martyred king to England’s national saint in medieval times; and describes current research into Edmund’s burial in the abbey at Bury St Edmunds and the present whereabouts of his mortal remains.
The Castle at War in Medieval England and Wales
After examining the origins of castle building in northern France, Dan Spencer’s military history focuses on the role of castles in warfare in England and Wales, from their introduction by the Normans in the 11th century to the death of Henry VIII in 1547. The book covers all the major conflicts, including the conquest of Wales, war with Scotland, 1295–1337, the Hundred Years’ War and the Wars of the Roses, ending with the early Tudors’ fortifications against invasion.
A True King's Fall
From his birth in Bordeaux in 1367 and early years in Aquitaine, to his deposition by Henry of Lancaster in 1399 and his death, a few months later, in Pontefract Castle, this biography of Richard II is intended as a portrait of an individual rather than an account of his reign. It is, nevertheless, a very complete study that reassesses Richard’s reputation as a crazed and vicious ruler, and depicts a complex and conflicted man thrust into a role that demanded greatness.
Heroines of the Medieval World
‘Although there were many women in the medieval era who did the extraordinary, who stood out in a world dominated by men, they are not easy to find.’ This study scours the sources to uncover the achievements of famous women such as Eleanor of Aquitaine and Margaret of Scotland, and the less-familiar stories of women in convents, pawns in political marriages, mistresses, warriors and captive women like Ingeborg of Denmark, crowned queen of France, yet imprisoned by her husband for 20 years.
Glorious Son of York
A charismatic Plantagenet ruler, described by a contemporary as ‘the handsomest prince my eyes ever beheld’, Edward IV (1442–1483) fought hard for his crown, contesting some of the most important battles of the medieval period, including Mortimer’s Cross, Towton, Barnet and Tewkesbury. Covering Edward’s background, the Yorkist takeover and the tensions created by the king’s controversial Woodville marriage, this history follows his struggle to gain and regain the kingship of England during a period of great dynastic turmoil.
Edward the Confessor
King of England
Peter Rex presents ‘an alternative view’ of Edward the Confessor’s life, character and achievements, drawing on the wealth of research into his reign since Frank Barlow’s major biography of the king appeared in 1979. Discounting the traditional emphasis on the influence of Earl Godwine, Rex examines Edward’s achievements in foreign policy and statecraft, looking in particular at his contribution to advancing the administration of the Old English state; and in a final chapter, he discusses the cult of the Confessor’s sanctity.
Blood Cries Afar
The Magna Carta War and the Invasion of England 1215–1217
‘To really understand History’, writes Sean McGlynn, ‘you have to pick up the stone and see what is crawling underneath’. In this book he explores the relationship of war and politics and the nature of warfare in medieval western Europe through a closely detailed study of a much-neglected episode: the invasion of England that was led by Louis, son of the French king Philip Augustus, in 1216, and the civil conflict in England that gave Philip the opportunity to attack.
The English Resistance
The Underground War Againt the Normans
‘Presenting an unfamiliar facet of a familiar story’, Peter Rex focuses, not on the success of the Norman Conquest, but on resistance to it. He identifies the leaders of the resistance, the collaborators who worked with the Normans, and the conflict between the two; he then goes on to examine all the campaigns of the resistance movement from 1067 to 1071 and the reasons for their successes and failures. Finally, Rex concentrates on the activities of Hereward and his last stand against William at Ely.