Edward III (Penguin Monarchs)

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Edward III (Penguin Monarchs)

Edward III (Penguin Monarchs)

A Heroic Failure

  • Author: Jonathan Sumption
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0241184215
  • Category: History
  • Page: 112
  • View: 9348
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Edward III lived through bloody and turbulent times. His father was deposed by his mother and her lover when he was still a teenager; a third of England's population was killed by the Black Death midway through his reign; and the intractable Hundred Years War with France began under his leadership. Yet Edward managed to rule England for fifty years, and was viewed as a paragon of kingship in the eyes of both his contemporaries and later generations. Venerated as the victor of Sluys and Crécy and the founder of the Order of the Garter, he was regarded with awe even by his enemies. But he lived too long, and was ultimately condemned to see thirty years of conquests reversed in less than five. In this gripping new account of Edward III's rise and fall, Jonathan Sumption introduces us to a fêted king who ended his life a heroic failure.

Edward II (Penguin Monarchs)

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Edward II (Penguin Monarchs)

Edward II (Penguin Monarchs)

The Terrors of Kingship

  • Author: Christopher Given-Wilson
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141977973
  • Category: History
  • Page: 160
  • View: 5137
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'He seems to have laboured under an almost child-like misapprehension about the size of his world. Had greatness not been thrust upon him, he might have lived a life of great harmlessness.' The reign of Edward II was a succession of disasters. Unkingly, inept in war, and in thrall to favourites, he preferred digging ditches and rowing boats to the tedium of government. His infatuation with a young Gascon nobleman, Piers Gaveston, alienated even the most natural supporters of the crown. Hoping to lay the ghost of his soldierly father, Edward I, he invaded Scotland and suffered catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn. After twenty ruinous years, betrayed and abandoned by most of his nobles and by his wife and her lover, Edward was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle and murdered - the first English king since the Norman Conquest to be deposed.

Edward IV (Penguin Monarchs)

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Edward IV (Penguin Monarchs)

Edward IV (Penguin Monarchs)

The Summer King

  • Author: A J Pollard
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141978708
  • Category: History
  • Page: 128
  • View: 2827
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In 1461 Edward earl of March, an able, handsome, and charming eighteen-year old, usurped the English throne from his feeble Lancastrian predecessor Henry VI. Ten years on, following outbreaks of civil conflict that culminated in him losing, then regaining the crown, he had finally secured his kingdom. The years that followed witnessed a period of rule that has been described as a golden age: a time of peace and economic and industrial expansion, which saw the establishment of a style of monarchy that the Tudors would later develop. Yet, argues A. J. Pollard, Edward, who was drawn to a life of sexual and epicurean excess, was a man of limited vision, his reign remaining to the very end the narrow rule of a victorious faction in civil war. Ultimately, his failure was dynastic: barely two months after his death in April 1483, the throne was usurped by Edward's youngest brother, Richard III.

Edward I (Penguin Monarchs)

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Edward I (Penguin Monarchs)

Edward I (Penguin Monarchs)

A New King Arthur?

  • Author: Andy King
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141978783
  • Category: History
  • Page: 144
  • View: 1154
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Edward I (1272-1307) is one of the most commanding of all English rulers. He fought in southwest France, in Wales, In Scotland and in northern France, he ruled with ruthlessness and confidence, undoing the chaotic failure of his father, Henry III's reign. He reshaped England's legal system and came close to bringing the whole island of Great Britain under his rule. He promoted the idea of himself as the new King Arthur, his Round Table still hanging in Winchester Castle to this day. His greatest monuments are the extraordinary castles--Caernarfon, Beaumaris, Harlech and Conwy--built to ensure his rule of Wales and some of the largest of all medieval buildings. Andy King's brilliant short biography brings to life a strange, complex man whose triumphs raise all kinds of questions about the nature of kingship - how could someone who established so many key elements in England's unique legal and parliamentary system also have been such a harsh, militarily brutal warrior?

Henry III (Penguin Monarchs)

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Henry III (Penguin Monarchs)

Henry III (Penguin Monarchs)

A Simple and God-Fearing King

  • Author: Stephen Church
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141978007
  • Category: History
  • Page: 144
  • View: 9984
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Henry III was a medieval king whose long reign continues to have a profound impact on us today. He was on the throne for 56 years and during this time England was transformed from being the private play-thing of a French speaking dynasty into a medieval state in which the king answered for his actions to an English parliament, which emerged during Henry's lifetime. Despite Henry's central importance for the birth of parliament and the development of a state recognisably modern in many of its institutions, it is Henry's most vociferous opponent, Simon de Montfort, who is in many ways more famous than the monarch himself. Henry is principally known today as the driving force behind the building of Westminster Abbey, but he deserves to be better understood for many reasons - as Stephen Church's sparkling account makes clear. Part of the Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers in a highly collectible format

Edward III (Penguin Monarchs)

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Edward III (Penguin Monarchs)

Edward III (Penguin Monarchs)

  • Author: Jonathan Sumption
  • Publisher: Penguin Monarchs
  • ISBN: 9780241184202
  • Category:
  • Page: 112
  • View: 5673
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Edward III lived through bloody and turbulent times. His father was deposed by his mother and her lover when he was still a teenager; a third of England's population was killed by the Black Death midway through his reign; and the intractable Hundred Years War with France began under his leadership. Yet Edward managed to rule England for fifty years, and was viewed as a paragon of kingship in the eyes of both his contemporaries and later generations. Venerated as the victor of Sluys and Crecy and the founder of the Order of the Garter, he was regarded with awe even by his enemies. But he lived too long, and was ultimately condemned to see thirty years of conquests reversed in less than five. In this gripping new account of Edward III's rise and fall, Jonathan Sumption introduces us to a feted king who ended his life a heroic failure."

Richard II (Penguin Monarchs)

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Richard II (Penguin Monarchs)

Richard II (Penguin Monarchs)

A Brittle Glory

  • Author: Laura Ashe
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141979909
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 144
  • View: 4635
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Richard II (1377-99) came to the throne as a child, following the long, domineering, martial reign of his grandfather Edward III. He suffered from the disastrous combination of a most exalted sense of his own power and an inability to impress that power on those closest to the throne. Neither trusted nor feared, Richard battled with a whole series of failures and emergencies before finally succumbing to a coup, imprisonment and murder. Laura Ashe's brilliant account of his reign emphasizes the strange gap between Richard's personal incapacity and the amazing cultural legacy of his reign - from the Wilton Diptych to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman and The Canterbury Tales.

George IV (Penguin Monarchs)

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George IV (Penguin Monarchs)

George IV (Penguin Monarchs)

King in Waiting

  • Author: Stella Tillyard
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141978864
  • Category: History
  • Page: 160
  • View: 4388
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George IV spent most of his life waiting to become king: as a pleasure-loving and rebellious Prince of Wales during the sixty-year reign of his father, George III, and for ten years as Prince Regent, when his father went mad. 'The days are very long when you have nothing to do' he once wrote plaintively, but he did his best to fill them with pleasure - women, art, food, wine, fashion, architecture. He presided over the creation of the Regency style, which came to epitomise the era, and he was, with Charles I, the most artistically literate of all our kings. Yet despite his life of luxury and indulgence, George died alone and unmourned. Stella Tillyard has not written a judgemental book, but a very human and enjoyable one, about this most colourful of all British kings.

Henry II (Penguin Monarchs)

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Henry II (Penguin Monarchs)

Henry II (Penguin Monarchs)

A Prince Among Princes

  • Author: Richard Barber
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141977094
  • Category: History
  • Page: 244
  • View: 8979
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Henry II (1154-89) through a series of astonishing dynastic coups became the ruler of an enormous European empire. One of the most dynamic, restless and clever men ever to rule England, he was brought down both by his catastrophic relationship with his archbishop Thomas Becket and his debilitating arguments with his sons, most importantly the future Richard I and King John. His empire may have ultimately collapsed, but in Richard Barber's vivid and sympathetic account the reader can see why Henry II left such a compelling impression on his contemporaries.

Edward VIII (Penguin Monarchs)

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Edward VIII (Penguin Monarchs)

Edward VIII (Penguin Monarchs)

The Uncrowned King

  • Author: Piers Brendon
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0241196426
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 160
  • View: 1137
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'After my death,' George V said of his eldest son and heir, 'the boy will ruin himself within twelve months.' The forecast proved uncannily accurate. Edward VIII came to the throne in January 1936, provoked a constitutional crisis by his determination to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson, and abdicated in December. He was never crowned king. In choosing the woman he loved over his royal birthright, Edward shook the monarchy to its foundations. Given the new title 'Duke of Windsor' and essentially sent into exile, he remained a visible skeleton in the royal cupboard until his death in 1972 and he haunts the house of Windsor to this day. Drawing on unpublished material, notably correspondence with his most loyal (though much tried) supporter Winston Churchill, Piers Brendon's superb biography traces Edward's tumultuous public and private life from bright young prince to troubled sovereign, from wartime colonial governor to sad but glittering expatriate. With pace and panache, it cuts through the myths that still surround this most controversial of modern British monarchs.