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The murder mysteries show personal and individual tragedy but are also a vehicle for historical analysis. William II - William Rufus - was he murdered or killed accidentally by a 'stray arrow', allowing brother Henry to seize the throne, or was it God's punishment for William's irreligious living and persecution of the church? Or was Edward II murdered at the instigation of Queen Isabella - 'she-wolf of France' - and her lover, Roger Mortimer. who assumed the throne? Did he survive to live peaceably in Italy? Richard II resembled Edward II, as a rather inadequate figure, and was deposed by his rival, Henry IV. Did he die, and if so, was it murder or suicide? Was Edward IV a bigamist? Mystery, if not murder, but wrapped in dynastic rivalry and sex scandal, and usurpation of the throne. The 'Princes in the Tower' and who who killed them if anyone? A beguiling mystery for over 500 years with their usurping uncle Richard III's guilt contested by 'Ricardians'.
In Wales, as in Ireland, the smaller size and military weakness of divided neighbouring states encouraged conquest, with the seized lands enhancing the power of the aggressive English lords. They were granted ever greater authority by the monarch, to the point where they believed they ruled like kings. They intermarried, schemed for extra lands and snatched power in a complex and often violent political process. Owing to their resources and unparalleled military effectiveness, they soon came to overawe kings and dominate national events.
The strength of the Marcher lords would come to the fore at numerous times in the nation’s history in the shape of notorious figures such as Simon de Montfort and Roger Mortimer. The civil war of King Stephen’s reign, the baronial resistance to King John, the overthrow of Edward II and Richard II; all of these crises turned upon the involvement of the lords of the Marches. Timothy Venning explores their mentality and reveals the dramatic careers both of those who prospered from their loyalty to the king and those whose power was gained by treachery – from the Norman Conquest to the beginnings of the Tudor dynasty.
This is a deeply researched and scholarly but essentially accessible history and analysis for general readers and specialists and based on an impressive array of sources including Romano-British, Anglo-Saxon, rare medieval English, French and German sources, and archaeology - essential for modern historical research in early history. Modern and contemporary historiography is covered including 'debunking' treatments. The study surveys King Arthur in fact and fiction, his family, knights, and the legends that have grown up around them and developed to the enduring interest from history, literature to TV and film.
After defeating King Charles I in the English-British Civil Wars, Oliver Cromwell established the Commonwealth of England. Under this unique experiment in the governance of Britain, the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were united in the Protectorate, with Cromwell as Lord Protector, 1649 to 1660. But this ambitious new state would soon collapse.
Cromwell faced turbulence and problems from all sides. There were political, religious, and constitutional dilemmas at home and military threats from abroad—even from the Dutch, the Protectorate's natural ally. Finally, with Cromwell's death in 1658 and succession of his son, the hapless Richard Cromwell, the 'failed state' collapsed with the restoration of the Stuart dynasty in 1660. Thus Britain returned to royal, aristocratic and gentry rule.
A Chronology of Medieval British History 1307–1485 is a year-by-year guide to political, military, religious and cultural developments in the states within the British Isles from 1307-1485.
The book uses a range of primary sources to provide a detailed and comprehensive narrative of events as they occurred. Throughout, the dating and accuracy of the records are identified, and problems of interpretation highlighted. The result is both a narrative of developments in parallel and inter-connected polities, and an ‘epitome’ of source material. Where exact data is difficult to come by or problematic on account of the political bias of the sources, this is evaluated and various options in interpretation referenced along with any recent developments in study and interpretation by academic experts.
Using a chronological framework and dividing the material into separate sections for each state or region each year to allow for easy cross-referencing, A Chronology of Medieval British History 1307–1485 is ideal for students of medieval British and European history.
A Chronology of Medieval British History 1066–1307 covers events in British history, starting with the arrival of the new Norman ruling dynasty which ‘connected’ British politics, culture, religion and society more closely to mainland Europe, and ending with Edward I’s death and Robert Bruce’s revolt in 1307.
The book is designed as a year-by-year guide to political, military, religious and cultural developments, centred on the states within the British Isles – England, Scotland, the Welsh states until annexation in 1282, and Ireland until conquest in the 1170s. Throughout the book, a detailed but succinct narrative of events is provided, clearly explaining what happened and when. The relevant sources and the latest academic studies for each period are listed, and any difficulties relating to the dating, accuracy and interpretation of records are identified.
Comprehensive and accessible, A Chronology of Medieval British History 1066–1307 will be of great use to students of medieval British and European history.