The Great and the pious,the mad and the bold are all ways to describe monarchs of the Middle Ages. Imprisoned and deposed; exiled, excommunicated, canonized—the diversity of monarchs of the Middle Ages is fascinating. They led armies into battle to expand or defend their territories and embarked on crusades—both to the Holy Land and within Europe. Some were even the targets of crusades. They were united by marriage, but were plotted against by their siblings or their own children. They could be brutally ruthless in executing those they feared were conspiring against them and yet some built beautiful cathedrals and monasteries, founded universities, established parliaments and permanent armies, and laid the foundations for modern governments and societies. From England to Russia, from Scandinavia to Sicily, from the 9th century CE to the completion of the Reconquista of Spain in 1492, Kings & Queens of the Medieval World explores the captivating stories of monarchs from all across Europe. Arranged thematically from military leaders to crusaders, persecutors, and religious reformers from queens to patrons and builders and on to lawmakers, each chapter explores a number of notable figures, from Robert the Bruce of Scotland to Philip II of France, from Blanche of Castile to Margaret of Denmark, from Roger II of Sicily to Casimir III of Poland and on to Ivan the Great of Russia. Through the lives of these—and many other figures, Martin J. Dougherty expertly examines a great sweep of Medieval history, from the impact of the Mongol invasions to the Hundred Years’ War, from antisemitism to the Black Death to the fate of the Cathars. Featuring the major European dynasties, Kings & Queens of the Medieval World is a lively account of monarchs from Charlemagne to Alexander Nevsky to Ferdinand and Isabella. Illustrated with more than 165 artworks, photographs, and maps, this is a colorful, accessible history on the making of Europe.
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About the Author
Martin J. Dougherty is the author of The Wars of the Roses, Vikings: A History of the Norse People, and Dark History of the Celts, as well as many books on military technology, such as Weapons & Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World. A former defense consultant, he also writes on self-defense and modern military technology.