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Edward III (Penguin Monarchs): A Heroic Failure

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Edward III (Penguin Monarchs): A Heroic Failure.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Jonathan Sumption(Author)

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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.

Jonathan Sumption is a former history fellow of Magdalen College Oxford. He is the author of Pilgrimage and The Albigensian Crusade, as well as the first four volumes in his celebrated history of the Hundred Years War, Trial by Battle, Trial by Fire, Divided Houses and Cursed Kings. He was awarded the 2009 Wolfson History Prize for Divided Houses.

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Review Text

  • By Mr Tim Cole on 1 November 2016

    This is the latest title from Penguin's prestigious English Monarchs series. It tells the story of Edward III one of the longest reigning and most successful of England's Medieval monarchs. his reign begun at just the age of 14 after the coup of his mother Isabella of France and her lover Roger Mortimer. They deposed Edward's weak and ineffectual father King Edward II. They installed Edward as a puppet king, but effectively ruled England for three years. In 1330 Edward staged a coup and defeat the regime of Mortimer and Isabella. Mortimer was executed and Isabella confined to life imprisonment. A dramatic start to a fifty year reign and as author, Jonathan Sumption skilfully relates in his short chapters, for a long time Edward proved a strong and effective ruler. he claimed the kingship of France through his mother Isabella of France. This included military glory with famous battles won victoriously against both Scotland and France. He also established a chivalric tradition based on the Order of the Garter and the knights of the round table which effectively controlled his rebellious nobles effectively for many decades. Yet, Edward's reign degenerated into political instability and corruption. His mistress Alice Perrers provd particularly unpopular after the eath of his beloved and much respected Queen Philippa of Hainult in 1369. Edward's heir, the once redoubtable, Edward the Black Prince developed dropsy and died in 1376 which was a bitter blow to an already ageing and decrepit Edward. In 1377 he died with much of the glory of his early reign long forgotton and with Edward succeeded by his Grand-son Richard II A boy of just nine years old. This glorious reign which had ushered in a period of military glory ended in dismal failure and ignominy. This topsy-turvy reign is brilliantly narrated by Sumption. I thoroughly recommend this brief little gem of a book both for those who have already read widely on Edward III or for those readers discovering Edward for the first time. It is an exciting and dramatic tale spanning fifity years. Go and order your copy from Amazon now you will not be disappointed!.

  • By Cas on 24 July 2016

    This wasn't quite what I was expecting from Jonathan Sumption. I think I was looking for more detail and more discussion, but I suppose the brief was to write a short book. It's really too short to cover the life of one of England's longest reigning monarchs. It doesn't seem to be written in Lord Sumption's usual, very readable, style and is just a little dull, if not depressing in its conclusions.The essential are here, so this is useful for a reader who knows nothing about Edward III and wants a summary of his reign.


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