King Stephen

King Stephen

by Edmund King


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This compelling new biography provides the most authoritative picture yet of King Stephen, whose reign (1135–1154), with its “nineteen long winters” of civil war, made his name synonymous with failed leadership. After years of work on the sources, Edmund King shows with rare clarity the strengths and weaknesses of the monarch. Keeping Stephen at the forefront of his account, the author also chronicles the activities of key family members and associates whose loyal support sustained Stephen’s kingship. In 1135 the popular Stephen was elected king against the claims of the empress Matilda and her sons. But by 1153, Stephen had lost control over Normandy and other important regions, England had lost prestige, and the weakened king was forced to cede his family’s right to succession. A rich narrative covering the drama of a tumultuous reign, this book focuses well-deserved attention on a king who lost control of his destiny.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300181951
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Series: The English Monarchs Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Edmund King is emeritus professor of medieval history, University of Sheffield. He lives in Sheffield, U.K.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Acknowledgements x

Abbreviated References xii

The Anglo-Norman Succession xvi

1 Family and Honour 1

2 The Accession 41

3 Mixed Fortunes 82

4 War and Peace 115

5 1141 145

6 Provincial Government 175

7 A Variety of Coin 203

8 The Family 236

9 Blessed are the Peacemakers 270

10 Appraisal 301

Bibliography 340

Index of Royal Charters 357

General Index 360

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