A Great and Terrible King

A Great and Terrible King

Edward I and the Forging of Britain

Book - 2015
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Edward I is familiar to millions as "Longshanks," conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (in "Braveheart"). Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king's action-packed life. Earlier, Edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled to the Holy Land; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers and constructing a magnificent chain of castles. He raised the greatest armies of the Middle Ages and summoned the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom.The longest-lived of England's medieval kings, he fathered fifteen children with his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, and, after her death, he erected the Eleanor Crosses--the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.In this book, Marc Morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England's destiny--a sense shaped in particular by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. He also explores the competing reasons that led Edward's opponents (including Robert Bruce) to resist him.The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, 2015.
Edition: First Pegasus Books hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ♭2009
ISBN: 9781605986845
1605986844
Characteristics: xvi, 462 pages :,colour illustrations, maps

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rpavlacic
Jan 09, 2016

Centuries before Machiavelli, there was Edward I. Using cunning and a zero sum game approach to his rule, he not only consolidated his power, he also managed to conquer Wales, subdue Ireland, expand Gascony in southwestern France, and came within a hair of taking over Scotland - once through an arranged marriage that was not meant to be, and a second time when the country ripped itself apart and Edward misread who was in charge. Perhaps overly detailed, but puts in layperson's terms the story of one of the most complex rulers in history.

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minar1971
Sep 30, 2009

A clear and very readable work without any romanticism about one of the most successful leaders in European history.

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