Edward III W. Mark Ormrod

The Yale English Monarchs Series
Publication date:
21 Oct 2011
720 pages: 234 x 156 x 63mm
b/w pls

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Edward III (1312-1377) was the most successful European ruler of his age. Reigning for over fifty years, he achieved spectacular military triumphs and overcame grave threats to his authority, from parliamentary revolt to the Black Death. Revered by his subjects as a chivalric dynamo, he initiated the Hundred Years War and gloriously led his men into battle against the Scots and the French.

In this illuminating biography, W. Mark Ormrod takes a deeper look at Edward to reveal the man beneath the military muscle. What emerges is Edward's clear sense of his duty to rebuild the prestige of the Crown, and through military gains and shifting diplomacy, to secure a legacy for posterity. New details of the splendour of Edward's court, lavish national celebrations, and innovative use of imagery establish the king's instinctive understanding of the bond between ruler and people. With fresh emphasis on how Edward's rule was affected by his family relationships - including his roles as traumatized son, loving husband, and dutiful father - Ormrod gives a valuable new dimension to our understanding of this remarkable warrior king.

Mark Ormrod is a professor in the Department of History, University of York. His research interests lie in the political structures and ideas of later medieval England. He is an editor of Fourteenth-Century England and author of The Reign of Edward III: Crown and Political Society in England, 1327-1377 (Yale, 1990), Political Life in Medieval England, 1300-1450 (Macmillan, 1995), and with Anthony Musson, The Evolution of English Justice: Law, Politics and Society in the Fourteenth Century (Macmillan, 1999).

"Mark Ormrod’s Edward III is majestically compelling."—Simon Sebag Montefiore, Daily Telegraph (Books of the Year)

"Part of the problem is that Edward III’s respect for the conventional images of kingship has obscured his personality, making him seem like a cardboard cut out. Perhaps the greatest merit of Mark Ormrod’s magnificent new biography, is that it penetrates behind this image… Ormrod is at his best in describing the personality of the King, and his impact on English political society."—Jonathan Sumpton, Literary Review

"Ormrod’s sheer mastery of his sources informs every page of his text. Here we have the long-awaited authoritative biography of the king for our generation."—Nigel Saul, Reviews in History

"Ormrod has mastered the complex interplay of circumstance, motive, and personality to provide an original and important account not only of a King but of a nation at a critical stage of its history. Edward III is a remarkable achievement and deserves a wide readership, both among professional historians and the general public."—Scott L. Waugh, Times Literary Supplement