Edward the Black Prince: Power in Medieval Europe / Edition 1

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The Black Prince was one of the most important figures of the medieval period: he claimed the major battles of the Hundred Years Wars. Dying before his father, Edward III, he left his young son, the future Richard II, to an uncertain destiny. Despite his untimely death, the Black Prince played an integral role in English, Welsh, Spanish and French political life in the middle years of the fourteenth century. This was a period of intense political, social, economic and religious change, witnessing the outbreak of the Hundred Years War, the impact of repeated outbreaks of the Black Death, the notable growth of parliament's importance and England’s first major heresy. The consequences of such events were extremely significant and wide-ranging and contributed to the transition from the medieval to the early modern world.

The Black Prince was right at the centre of such transitions. His life and career both influenced change and was representative of its effects. He serves therefore as a crucial figure in his own right and as an example that can be used to illuminate the forces at work in the middle and later years of the fourteenth century. This book both provides a biography of the prince and insight into the medieval world at large.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

''An excellent, impressively sourced work of history which cleanly dissects the big issues of fourteenth-century politics, society and historiography.''

Alex Burghart, Medieval Studies

‘This is much more than a fine biography. It is a wide-ranging and deeply imaginative portrait of fourteenth-century aristocratic society, based on intimate knowledge of both the primary and secondary sources: a fitting culmination to years of research into one of the most controversial and flamboyant characters in English history.’

Chris Given-Wilson, Professor of Late Medieval History, University of St Andrews

‘David Green’s fascinating new study of how this most iconic but enigmatic figure exercised his power acutely analyses the cultural and social as well as political factors that shaped his turbulent century.’

Michael Jones, Emeritus Professor of Medieval French History, University of Nottingham

‘In this thoroughly readable book, David Green provides a vivid picture of England in the late fourteenth century, centred on the career of the Black Prince. The nature of aristocratic power provides a central theme, while war, plague and religion receive full attention. The book also throws many fascinating sidelights on the period, from the scandalously low-cut dresses of the Princess of Wales and the military finery of the Black Prince, to the increasingly macabre tombs of the period, with their images of decaying skeletons contrasting with worldly splendour.’

Michael Prestwich, Professor of History, University of Durham

"Green's book is well-researched and lucidly written. It provides a welcome addition for anyone who needs to learn more about the life and career of the Black Prince. It also offers a valuable and accessible survey for readers seeking information on a wide range of fourteenth-century themes, from politics to chivalry."
Barbara Gribling, University of York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582784819
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 6/11/2007
  • Series: Medieval World Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

David Green lectures at Trinity College, Dublin. He is the author of many books, articles and encyclopedia entries including The Battle of Poitiers , 1356 (2002), The Black Prince (2001) and History at Nottingham (1995).

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Table of Contents


1. England at War

2. The Black Death: "A Plague on Eminence"

3. Chivalry and Nobility

4. A Prince's Household: Lordship and Status

5. Parliament, Representation and the Body Politic

6. Religion - Piety and Patronage


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