Medieval History Books

  • Terry Deary's Dangerous Days Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407250625 - Terry Deary
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    With his dark sense of humour and accessible writing style, Terry Deary is one of the nation's favourite children's authors but in this very adult collection he introduces adults to the most shocking secrets of the Roman Empire, Elizabethan England and the Victorian Railways.

    From how the Romans (the first 'civilised' society, remember...) made human killing a sport to the lack of safety on the rails, there are so many shocking facts to absorb and gasp over...

    Please note these books contain strong language.
  • KGJN
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    The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta made headlines across the world in 2015 and this biography provides a compelling portrait of King John, the supposed tyrant leader who issued - and consequently rejected - the famous document that bound him and his successors to better behaviour.

    Extensively researched and written by Marc Morris, author of A Great and Terrible King and The Norman Conquest, the book examines whether King John was the familiar figure we all know from Robin Hood - a monarch who was greedy, cowardly, despicable and cruel.

    Throughout the book, the historian draws on contemporary chronicles and the king's own letters to show what John was really like. He argues he was dynamic, inventive and relentless, but also a very flawed individual whose rise to power involved treachery, rebellion and murder.

    The book also looks at the invasions by Wales, Scotland and Ireland that occurred under John's reign and the civil war and foreign invasion that brought upon his downfall.
  • RIII
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    Have we bought into the view of Richard III as the personification of evil as publicised by the likes of William Shakespeare, or should we believe he was a much-maligned monarch, warrior and statesman as claimed by the Richard III Society?

    In this riveting and fascinating biography, historian David Horspool provides an insight into the life and times of a flawed king whose story has endured and intrigued for so many years.

    From his birth and upbringing towards the climax of the War of the Roses through to what happened to the princes in the tower and even his reburial in Leicester in 2015, this book sheds light on the mysteries that have blighted one of England's most enigmatic and elusive kings.
  • AUWLG
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    As a child he was given his own suit of armour; in 1346, at the age of 16 he helped defeat the French at Crecy; and in 1356 he captured the king of France at Poitiers. For the chronicler Jean Froissart 'He was the flower of all chivalry'; for the Chandos Herald, who fought with him on all his campaigns, he was 'the embodiment of all valour'. Edward of Woodstock, eldest son and heir of Edward III of England, better known as 'the Black Prince', was England's pre-eminent military leader during the first phase of the Hundred Years War. Michael Jones uses a wide range of chronicle and documentary material, including the Prince's own letters and those of his closest followers, to bring to life the dramatic and powerful story of the life and times of 'the Black Prince', and to paint a memorable portrait of warfare and society in the tumultuous fourteenth century.
  • BQDRV
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    This book is just as much for amateurs of good cooking as it is for enthusiasts of the Middle Ages. Each recipe is adapted to today's tastes; it is placed in its historical context and details are provided in the insets for it to be reproduced. Forty recipes are brought together from the very depths of the Middle Ages, the Merovingian period, then the transition period that was the 15th Century. This new book enables the reader to follow how culinary practices evolved throughout the Middle Ages. Indeed, cuisine never stopped developing from the 5th Century through to the end of the 15th, and was a compromise between the Mediterranean and the Capetien styles. The former was a legacy from Greco-Latin antiquity, incorporating elements from the invading barbarians' cuisine ; the latter was created at the court of the Kings of France during the last two centuries of the medieval period. Posterity has retained two representative works: le Viandier de Taillevent and the Mesnagier de Paris. These two works are the base of our gastronomy and are part of our culinary heritage. Let's re-discover the tastes, colours, textures and bouquets of dishes that shouldn't be forgotten : brouet, galimafree, comminee, cretonnee, poree... today they all deserve a place once again on our tables. Text in French.
  • AUGLS
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    The Mongols created the greatest landlocked empire known to history. It was an empire created and sustained by means of conquest. Initially an insignificant tribal leader, Genghis Khan gradually increased his power, overcoming one rival after another. After he had subjugated all tribes of Inner Asia, he struck southward into China and later attacked distant Khwarizm in the Near East. Sube'etei continued to make significant conquests after Genghis Khan died, conquering central China and leading a large force into the heart of Europe. Between them, Genghis Khan and Sube'etei directed more than 40 campaigns, fought more than 60 battles, and conquered all lands from Korea in the east to Hungary and Poland in the west. This book offers a detailed narrative of the military operations of these two leaders, based on early Mongolian, Chinese, Near Eastern, and European sources. Making full use of Chinese sourced not translated properly into any European language, the account offer details never before given in English works. Detailed maps showing the operations support the text. Many conventional wisdom views of the Mongols, such as their use of terror as a deliberate strategy, or their excellence at siege warfare, are shown to be incorrect. This is a major contribution to our knowledge of the Mongols and their way of warfare.
  • AYLVJ
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    How was the North Atlantic settled? How did the distinct cultures of medieval Iceland and Greenland come to be? Viking Nations is an interdisciplinary consideration of medieval North Atlantic settlement that focuses on not only site-related identity but also the active choices made to adopt elements of identity. It utilizes comparative analysis of evidence to highlight terrestrial and marine drivers to identity development in relation to the site context. By adopting this approach it is possible to more closely examine not only the settlement of the North Atlantic but also the apparent taming of the Vikings concurrently taking place. This book illustrates the priorities expressed by medieval settling populations in relation to particular contexts. It proposes a method for planning ships' cargos which corresponds to identity development amongst the constituent Atlantic archipelagos. This work is written for an educated audience desiring to know more about the medieval North Atlantic beyond Viking stereotypes. Enough detail is included that medieval specialists will also enjoy the book.
  • AWKOR
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    Owain Glyn Dwr is one of the great figures of Welsh and military history. Initially a loyal subject of the king of England, he reluctantly took up arms against the Crown he had served. Once committed to rebellion, he proved surprisingly talented at leading rebel troops against a theoretically vastly superior enemy. Not solely a warrior, he conceived and implemented a strategy which saw his small, poorly-equipped forces repeatedly defeat Crown troops and bring down the apparatus of governance in Wales. Following these achievements, he held native parliaments and established diplomatic contact with surrounding powers. This led to a treaty with France, after the conclusion of which, he welcomed French forces to Welsh soil to campaign with the rebels. In brief, Owain erected a rebel state and won international recognition. Owain's foreign support was fractured by the intrigues of exceptionally talented English diplomats at work in the French court. This created an environment which allowed Crown forces to concentrate on defeating the rebellion in Wales.Although ultimately unsuccessful, Owain emerges from the era as a gifted and honourable leader, giving the Welsh a figure commonly recalled as a hero.
  • AZQPM
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    Since the fifteenth century, when humanist writers began to speak of a "middle" period in history linking their time to the ancient world, the nature of the Middle Ages has been widely debated. Across the millennium from 500 to 1500, distinguished historian Johannes Fried describes a dynamic confluence of political, social, religious, economic, and scientific developments that draws a guiding thread through the era: the growth of a culture of reason.Beginning with the rise of the Franks, Fried uses individuals to introduce key themes, bringing to life those who have too often been reduced to abstractions of the medieval "monk" or "knight." Milestones encountered in this thousand-year traversal include Europe's political, cultural, and religious renovation under Charlemagne; the Holy Roman Empire under Charles IV, whose court in Prague was patron to crowning cultural achievements; and the series of conflicts between England and France that made up the Hundred Years' War and gave to history the enduringly fascinating Joan of Arc. Broader political and intellectual currents are examined, from the authority of the papacy and impact of the Great Schism, to new theories of monarchy and jurisprudence, to the rise of scholarship and science.The Middle Ages is full of people encountering the unfamiliar, grappling with new ideas, redefining power, and interacting with different societies. Fried gives readers an era of innovation and turbulence, of continuities and discontinuities, but one above all characterized by the vibrant expansion of knowledge and an understanding of the growing complexity of the world.
  • AZXOG
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    The Eastern Roman or 'Byzantine' Empire had to fight for survival throughout its long history so military ability was a prime requisite for a successful Emperor. John Carr concentrates on the personal and military histories of the more capable war fighters to occupy the imperial throne at Constantinople. They include men like it's founder Constantine I, Julian, Theodosius, Justinian, Heraclius, Leo I, Leo III, Basil I, Basil II (the Bulgar-slayer), Romanus IV Diogenes, Isaac Angelus, and Constantine XI. Byzantium's emperors, and the military establishment they created and maintained, can be credited with preserving Rome's cultural legacy and, from the seventh century, forming a bulwark of Christendom against aggressive Islamic expansion. For this the empire's military organization had to be of a high order, a continuation of Roman discipline and skill adapted to new methods of warfare. Thus was the Empire, under the leadership of its fighting emperors, able to endure for almost a thousand years after the fall of Rome.
  • BHAPW
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    The Knights Templar were the wealthiest, most powerful - and most secretive - of the military orders that flourished in the crusading era. Their story - encompassing as it does the greatest international conflict of the Middle Ages, a network of international finance, a swift rise in wealth and influence followed by a bloody and humiliating fall - has left a comet's tail of mystery that continues to fascinate and inspire historians, novelists and conspiracy theorists.
  • AZYST
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    Known to posterity as Scottorum Malleus - the Hammer of the Scots - Edward I was one of medieval England's most formidable rulers. In this meticulously researched new history, David Santiuste offers a fresh interpretation of Edward's military career, with a particular focus on his Scottish wars. This is in part a study of personality: Edward was a remarkable man. His struggles with tenacious opponents - including Robert the Bruce and William Wallace - have become the stuff of legend. There is a clear and perceptive account of important military events, notably the Battle of Falkirk, but the narrative also encompasses the wider impact of Edward's campaigns. Edward attempted to mobilize resources - including men, money and supplies - on an unprecedented scale. His wars affected people at all levels of society, throughout the British Isles. David Santiuste builds up a vivid and convincing description of Edward's campaigns in Scotland, whilst also exploring the political background. Edward emerges as a man of great conviction, who sought to bend Scotland to his will, yet also, on occasion, as a surprisingly beleaguered figure.Edward is presented here as the central character in a turbulent world, as commander and king.
  • BQYXT
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    The trial of the Knights Templar is one of the most infamous in history. Accused of heresy by the king of France, the Templars were arrested and imprisoned, had their goods seized and their monasteries ransacked. Under brutal interrogation and torture, many made shocking confessions: denial of Christ, desecration of the Cross, sex acts and more. This book follows the everyday reality of the trial, from the early days of scandal and scheming in 1305, via torture, imprisonment and the dissolution of the order, to 1314, when leaders Jacques de Molay and Geoffroy de Charnay were burned at the stake. Through first-hand testimony and written records of the interrogations of 231 French Templars, this book illuminates the stories of hundreds of ordinary members, some of whom testified at the trial, as well as the many others who denied the charges or retracted their confessions. A deeply researched and immersive account that gives a striking vision of the relentless persecution, and the oft-underestimated resistance, of the once-mighty Knights Templar.
  • BTAJA
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    The Battle of Grunwald was one of the largest battles in Medieval Europe and was the most important in the histories of Poland and Lithuania. It was fought on 15 July 1410 during the Polish-Lithuania-Teutonic War between the alliance of the Kingdom of Poland (led by King Jagiello) and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (led by Grand Duke Vytautas) against the German-Prussian Teutonic Knights (led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen) and with the assistance of Sigismund, then King of Hungary and Croatia. The Teutonic Knights, a crusading military order, were defeated and most of their leaders were killed or taken prisoner. This defeat would mark the beginning of their decline and they would never again regain their former power. Following the battle, the balance of power shifted in Central and Eastern Europe and so came the rise of the Polish-Lithuanian union as the dominant political and military force. In this compelling account the action takes place in Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia and Germany. There are bloody battles; fascinating characters; intrigue; betrayals; sex; unexpected twists of fate; religious heresy and a smattering of saints. There is also the monumental end of one era making way for the beginning of another. Written by William L Urban, an internationally respected authority on the history of European warfare, while there has long been interest on the crusades outside of the Holy Land, this book is unique in the sheer breadth and depth of its research.
  • BMMCZ
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    Whilst Richard I is one of medieval England's most famous kings he is also the most controversial. He has variously been considered a great warrior but a poor king, a man driven by the quest for fame and glory but also lacking in self-discipline and prone to throwing away the short-term advantages that his military successes brought him. In this reassessment W. B. Bartlett looks at his deeds and achievements in a new light. The result is a compelling new portrait of `the Lionheart' which shows that the king is every bit as remarkable as his medieval contemporaries found him to be. This includes his Muslim enemies, who spoke of him as their most dangerous and gallant opponent. It shows him to be a man badly let down by some of those around him, especially his brother John and the duplicitous French king Philip. The foibles of his character are also exposed to the full, including his complicated relationships with the key women in his life, especially the imposing contemporary figure of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and his wife, Berengaria, with whom he failed to produce an heir, leading to later suggestions of homosexuality. This is a new Richard, one for the twenty-first century, and a re-evaluation of the life story of one of the greatest personalities of medieval Europe.
  • BPWXY
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    In these vivid and approachable essays Eamon Duffy engages with some of the central aspects of Western religion in the thousand years between the decline of pagan Rome and the rise of the Protestant Reformation. In the process he opens windows on the vibrant and multifaceted beliefs and practices by which medieval people made sense of their world: the fear of death and the impact of devastating pandemic, holy war against Islam and the invention of the blood libel against the Jews, provision for the afterlife and the continuing power of the dead over the living, the meaning of pilgrimage and the evolution of Christian music. Duffy unpicks the stories of the Golden Legend and Yale University's mysterious Voynich manuscript, discusses the cult of `St' Henry VI and explores childhood in the Middle Ages. Accompanying the book are a collection of full colour plates which further demonstrate the richness of late medieval religion. In this highly readable collection Eamon Duffy once more challenges existing scholarly narratives and sheds new light on the religion of Britain and Europe before and during the Reformation.
  • BOHDJ
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    John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, is arguably the most intriguing, controversial and possibly misunderstood figure of the Wars of the Roses period. Politically adept, he occupied a string of important offices, first under the Lancastrian Henry VI and then the Yorkist Edward IV. A man of action, he held commands on both and sea, in England, Ireland and Wales. As Constable of England he acted as Edward's enforcer and earned the sobriquet 'Butcher of England' for his beheadings and impalements. Yet he was also an outstanding Renaissance scholar who studied at Oxford, Padua and Ferrara, a collector of books and patron. This, in conjunction with his political actions, makes him a proto-Machiavellian Prince. Peter Spring also looks beyond the Earl's public life to glean insights into the man himself, concluding that the available information generally reveals an attractive personality. He presents a balanced reappraisal, seeing him, as did many contemporary Europeans and some fellow countrymen, as a man of great intellect and capability who did not shirk the hard tasks imposed by a merciless age. Worcester's execution for the application of Roman law, lampooned as the 'laws of Padua', demonstrated the danger of indentification with continental influences in an England increasingly defining itself???through common law, Parliament, and soon religion???against Europe. The contemporary denigration of his character by little Englander chroniclers reflected a deepening antipathy towards the cosmopolitan ??? a recurring trait in the English character ??? perhaps re-emerging with Brexit.
  • BOLVZ
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    Wife to Richard, Duke of York, mother to Edward IV and Richard III, and aunt to the famous 'Kingmaker', Richard, Earl of Warwick, Cecily Neville was a key player on the political stage of fifteenth-century Britain England. Mythologically rumoured to have been known as 'the Rose of Raby' because of her beauty and her birth at Raby Castle, and as 'Proud Cis' because of her vanity and fiery temper, Cecily's personality and temperament have actually been highly speculated upon. In fact, much of her life is shrouded in mystery. Putting aside Cecily's role as mother and wife, who was she really? Matriarch of the York dynasty, she navigated through a tumultuous period and lived to see the birth of the future Henry VIII. From seeing the house of York defeat their Lancastrian cousins; to witnessing the defeat of her own son, Richard III, at the battle of Bosworth, Cecily then saw one of her granddaughters become Henry VII's queen consort. Her story is full of controversy and the few published books on her life are full of guess-work. In this highly original history, Dr John Ashdown-Hill seeks to dispel the myths surrounding Cecily using previously unexamined contemporary sources.
  • BSNWG
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    Histories of the Hundred Years War have been written, and accounts of the famous battles, but until now no book has concentrated on the sieges that played a decisive role in the protracted struggle between England and France. Edward III's capture of Calais in 1347 was of crucial importance for the English, and the failure of the English siege of Orleans in 1429 was a turning point for the French after the disaster of Agincourt. Throughout the war, sieges were a major weapon in the strategic armouries of both sides, and Peter Hoskins's perceptive and graphic study is a fascinating analysis of them. He describes the difficulties faced by besieger and besieged, examines the logistics and resource implications of sieges, and provides a comparative assessment of siege warfare alongside set-piece battles and the English strategy of chevauchees. Key sieges are reconstructed in vivid detail, other sieges are summarized, and the book is fully illustrated with photographs and plans.
  • BSNNT
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    Hugh Despenser the Younger and Edward II tells the story of 'the greatest villain of the fourteenth century', his dazzling rise as favourite to the king and his disastrous fall. Born in the late 1280s, Hugh married King Edward I of England's eldest granddaughter when he was a teenager. Ambitious and greedy to an astonishing degree, Hugh chose a startling route to power: he seduced his wife's uncle, the young King Edward II, and became the richest and most powerful man in the country in the 1320s. For years he dominated the English government and foreign policy, and took whatever lands he felt like by both quasi-legal and illegal methods, with the king's connivance. His actions were to bring both himself and Edward II down, and Hugh was directly responsible for the first forced abdication of a king in English history; he had made the horrible mistake of alienating and insulting Edward's queen Isabella of France, who loathed him, and who had him slowly and grotesquely executed in her presence in November 1326.
  • BSIUQ
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    The Anglo-Saxon period stretches from the arrival of Germanic groups on British shores in the early 5th century to the Norman Conquest of 1066. During these centuries, the English language was used and written down for the first time, pagan populations were converted to Christianity, and the foundations of the kingdom of England were laid. This richly illustrated new book - which accompanies a landmark British Library exhibition - presents Anglo-Saxon England as the home of a highly sophisticated artistic and political culture, deeply connected with its continental neighbours. Leading specialists in early medieval history, literature and culture engage with the unique, original evidence from which we can piece together the story of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, examining outstanding and beautiful objects such as highlights from the Staffordshire hoard and the Sutton Hoo burial. At the heart of the book is the British Library's outstanding collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, the richest source of evidence about Old English language and literature, including Beowulf and other poetry; the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of Britain's greatest artistic and religious treasures; the St Cuthbert Gospel, the earliest intact European book; and historical manuscripts such as Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. These national treasures are discussed alongside other, internationally important literary and historical manuscripts held in major collections in Britain and Europe. This book, and the exhibition it accompanies, chart a fascinating and dynamic period in early medieval history, and will bring to life our understanding of these formative centuries.
  • AOGCZ
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    Following the fall of Rome, the sea is increasingly the stage upon which the human struggle of western civilization is played out. In a world of few roads and great disorder, the sea is the medium on which power is projected and wealth sought. Yet this confused period in the history of maritime warfare has rarely been studied - it is little known and even less understood. Charles Stanton uses an innovative and involving approach to describe this fascinating but neglected facet of European medieval history. He depicts the development of maritime warfare from the end of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance, detailing the wars waged in the Mediterranean by the Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Crusaders, the Italian maritime republics, Angevins and Aragonese as well as those fought in northern waters by the Vikings, English, French and the Hanseatic League. This pioneering study will be compelling reading for everyone interested in medieval warfare and maritime history.
  • BPMKV
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    The Colosseum in Rome impressed the world when completed in 80AD, continued to impress throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and still does so today. If it is still Rome's greatest landmark, an unfailing magnet for tourists, it is also a brilliant example of Roman technology at its most sophisticated, a smooth-running machine in stone, cement and marble that for centuries staged Rome's lavish if brutal entertainments. This book investigates its construction, its workings and history, including its recent triumphant restoration.
  • BMLNL
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    An illustrated, behind the scenes look at medieval castles and how they combined two purposes, a weapon of war and a home for an entire community. Using the beautiful construction of a medieval castle at Guedelon as the starting point for each chapter, the book takes each section of the building itself to explain its design, construction and how it was used and lived in. Using images and techniques learned at the site, step-by-step photographs reveal the ancient skills of stone working, carpentry, dying, rope making, milling and many more, while the text discusses the similarities with other impressive medieval castles from the same period.