Medieval History Books

  • 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.
  • BUOQO
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    First-born son of a warrior father who defeated the French at Agincourt, Henry VI of the House Lancaster inherited the crown not only of England but also of France, at a time when Plantagenet dominance over the Valois dynasty was at its glorious height. And yet, by the time he was done to death in the Tower of London in 1471, France was lost, his throne had been seized by his rival, Edward IV of the House of York, and his kingdom had descended into the violent chaos of the Wars of the Roses. Henry VI is perhaps the most troubled of English monarchs, a pious, gentle, well-intentioned man who was plagued by bouts of mental illness. In Shadow King, Lauren Johnson tells his remarkable and sometimes shocking story in a fast-paced and colourful narrative that captures both the poignancy of Henry's life and the tumultuous and bloody nature of the times in which he lived.
  • BTCWF
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    A groundbreaking new history that will transform our view of West Africa By the time of the 'Scramble for Africa' in the late nineteenth century, Africa had already been globally connected for many centuries. Its gold had fuelled the economies of Europe and Islamic world since around 1000, and its sophisticated kingdoms had traded with Europeans along the coasts from Senegal down to Angola since the fifteenth century. Until at least 1650, this was a trade of equals, using a variety of currencies - most importantly shells: the cowrie shells imported from the Maldives, and the nzimbu shells imported from Brazil. Toby Green's groundbreaking new book transforms our view of West and West-Central Africa. It reconstructs the world of kingdoms whose existence (like those of Europe) revolved around warfare, taxation, trade, diplomacy, complex religious beliefs, royal display and extravagance, and the production of art. Over time, the relationship between Africa and Europe revolved ever more around the trade in slaves, damaging Africa's relative political and economic power as the terms of monetary exchange shifted drastically in Europe's favour. In spite of these growing capital imbalances, longstanding contacts ensured remarkable connections between the Age of Revolution in Europe and America and the birth of a revolutionary nineteenth century in Africa. A Fistful of Shells draws not just on written histories, but on archival research in nine countries, on art, praise-singers, oral history, archaeology, letters, and the author's personal experience to create a new perspective on the history of one of the world's most important regions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • AVKCQ
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    An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry provides a unique re-examination of this famous piece of work through the historical geography and archaeology of the tapestry. Trevor Rowley is the first author to have analysed the tapestry through the landscapes, buildings and structures shown, such as towns and castles, while comparing them to the landscapes, buildings, ruins and earthworks which can be seen today. By comparing illustrated extracts from the tapestry to historical and contemporary illustrations, maps and reconstructions Rowley is able to provide the reader with a unique visual setting against which they are able to place the events on the tapestry. This approach allows Rowley to challenge a number of generally accepted assumptions regarding the location of several scenes in the tapestry, most controversially suggesting that William may never have gone to Hastings at all. Finally, Rowley tackles the missing end of the tapestry, suggesting the places and events which would have been depicted on this portion of William's journey to Westminster.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • BWIFQ
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    For the nobility and gentry in later medieval England, land was a source of wealth and status. Their marriages were arranged with this in mind, and it is not surprising that so many of them had mistresses and illegitimate children. John de Warenne, earl of Surrey, married at the age of twenty to a ten-year-old granddaughter of Edward I, had at least eight bastards and a complicated love life. In theory, bastards were at a considerable disadvantage. Regarded as filius nullius' or the son of no one, they were unable to inherit real property and barred from the priesthood. In practice, illegitimacy could be less of a stigma in late medieval England than it became between the sixteenth and late twentieth centuries. There were ways of making provision for illegitimate offspring and some bastards did extremely well: in the church; through marriage; as soldiers; a few even succeeding to the family estates. _The Legitimacy of Bastards_ is the first book to consider the individuals who had illegitimate children, the ways in which they provided for them and attitudes towards both the parents and the bastard children. It also highlights important differences between the views of illegitimacy taken by the Church and by the English law.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • AWBSA
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    From the moment it became public news, the validity of Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Widville, the beautiful widow of a Lancastrian knight, was repeatedly called in to question. This alarmed Elizabeth Widville and led her into political killings. She was terrified that she would lose her crown and that her children by the king would never succeed to the throne. But after Edward's death a bishop publicly announced that he had previously married the king to Lady Eleanor Talbot. As a result, Edward's children by Elizabeth, including his eldest son and heir to the throne, Edward, were then declared illegitimate, making Edward's brother Richard the legitimate heir to the throne. Later, claims were put forward that Edward had numerous mistresses and left behind many illegitimate children. Dr John Ashdown-Hill, a central figure in the Looking for Richard Project and a renowned Richard III historian with a special talent for getting behind the mythology of history, now turns his attention to Richard's eldest brother, Edward IV. He unravels the complex web of stories around Edward's private life, discussing the truth behind Edward's reputation. Did Edward have numerous mistresses? Did he produce many bastards? Who was his legal wife? And what caused the early death of Eleanor Talbot?
  • AUOFF
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    In 2010, a parcel bomb was sent from Yemen by an al-Qaeda operative with the intention of blowing up a plane over America. The device was intercepted before the plan could be put into action, but what puzzled investigators was the name of the person to whom the parcel was addressed: Reynald de Chatillon - a man who died 800 years ago. But who was he and why was he chosen above all others? Born in twelfth-century France and bred for violence, Reynald de Chatillon was a young knight who joined the Second Crusade and rose through the ranks to become the pre-eminent figure in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem - and one of the most reviled characters in Islamic history. In the West, Reynald has long been considered a minor player in the Crusades and is often dismissed as having been a bloodthirsty maniac. Tales of his elaborate torture of prisoners and his pursuit of reckless wars against friends and foe alike have coloured Reynald's reputation. However, by using contemporary documents and original research, Jeffrey Lee overturns this popular perception and reveals him to be an influential and powerful leader, whose actions in the Middle East had a far-reaching impact that endures to this day. In telling his epic story, God's Wolf not only restores Reynald to his rightful position in history but also highlights how the legacy of the Crusades is still very much alive.