This illuminating book provides an account of a century and a half of English medieval history, beginning with the compilation of the Domesday Book and culminating in the issue of the Magna Carta and the subsequent civil war. A. L. Poole assesses the social and economic background to the period, the position of the monarchy, progress in education, church reform, and also studies the twelfth-century renaissance in literature and art, providing a full and detailed study of everyday life inEnglish towns and country in medieval England. 'a model of its kind ... has the unusual merit of being at once comprehensive and uniformly satisfying' TES 'an important and useful book, written and well written by a scholar of great learning and integrity' Guardian 'a volume that all medievalists will admire and use will remain, alike for historians and for the general reader, an indispensable and adequate possession.' Tablet 'the most brilliant andthe most exciting of the medieval centuries to be judged by the highest standards' TLS
'David Carpenter deserves to replace Sir James Holt as the standard authority, and an unfailingly readable one too.' Ferdinand Mount, TLS 'An invaluable new commentary' Jill Leopore, New Yorker With a new commentary by David Carpenter "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land." Magna Carta, forced on King John in 1215 by rebellion, is one of the most famous documents in world history. It asserts a fundamental principle: that the ruler is subject to the law. Alongside a new text and translation of the Charter, David Carpenter's commentary draws on new discoveries to give an entirely fresh account of Magna Carta's text, origins, survival and enforcement, showing how it quickly gained a central place in English political life. It also uses Magna Carta as a lens through which to view thirteenth-century society, focusing on women and peasants as well as barons and knights. The book is a landmark in Magna Carta studies. 2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta's creation - an event which will be marked with exhibitions, commemorations and debates in all the countries over whose constitutions and legal assumptions the shadow of Magna Carta hangs.
In Uniting the Kingdom? a group of the most distinguished historians from Britain and Ireland assemble to consider the question of British identity spanning the period from the Middle Ages to the present. Traditional chronological and regional frontiers are broken down as medievalists, early modernists and modernists debate the key issues of the British state: the conflicting historiographies, the nature of political tensions and the themes of expansion and contraction. This outstanding collection of essays forms an illuminating introduction to the most up-to-date thinking about the problems of British histories and identities.
Far more than any professional historian, Shakespeare is responsible for whatever notions most of us possess about English medieval history. Anyone who appreciates the dramatic action of Shakespeare's history plays but is confused by much of the historical detail will welcome this guide to the Richards, Edwards, Henrys, Warwicks and Norfolks who ruled and fought across Shakespeare's page and stage. Not only theater-goers and students, but today's film-goers who want to enrich their understanding of film adaptations of plays such as Richard III and Henry V will find this revised edition of Shakespeare's English Kings to be an essential companion. Saccio's engaging narrative weaves together three threads: medieval English history according to the Tudor chroniclers who provided Shakespeare with his material, that history as understood by modern scholars, and the action of the plays themselves. Including a new preface, a revised further reading list, genealogical charts, an appendix of names and titles, and an index, the second edition of Shakespeare's English Kings offers excellent background reading for all of the ten history plays.
Through contextual analysis and by reassessing the chronicle evidence, ‘King John: An Underrated King’ presents a compelling reevaluation of the reign of King John, England’s most maligned sovereign. With its thought-provoking analysis of the key issues of John’s reign, such as the loss of the French territories, British achievement, Magna Carta, relations with the church, and civil war, the volume presents an engaging argument for rehabilitating King John’s reputation. Each chapter features both narrative and contextual analysis, and is prefaced by a timeline outlining the key events of the period. The volume also contains an array of maps and diagrams, as well as a collection of useful study questions.
Discussing the development of English society, from the growth of royal power to the establishment of feudalism after the Norman Conquest, this book focuses on the emergence of the earliest English kingdoms and the Anglo-Norman monarchy in 1087. It also describes the chief phases in the history of the Anglo-Saxon church, drawing on many diverse examples; the result is a fascinating insight into this period of English history.