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The Worst Medieval Monarchs


Who were the worst medieval monarchs? Do they deserve their reputations? Or should their lives and reigns be redeemed? This book answers those questions.

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SKU: 9781399083058 Category: Tags: ,


Stephen. John. Edward II. Richard II. Richard III. These five are widely viewed as the worst of England’s medieval kings. Certainly, their reigns were not success stories. Two of these kings lost their thrones, one only avoided doing so by dying, another was killed in battle, and the remaining one had to leave his crown to his opponent. All have been seen as incompetent, their reigns blighted by civil war and conflict. They tore the realm apart, failing in the basic duty of a king to ensure peace and justice. For that, all of them paid a heavy price. As well as incompetence, some also have reputations for cruelty and villainy, More than one has been portrayed as a tyrant. The murder of family members and arbitrary executions stain their reputations. All five reigns ended in failure. As a result, the kings have been seen as failures themselves, the worst examples of medieval English kingship. They lost their reputations as well as their crowns. Yet were these five really the worst men to wear the crown of England in the Middle Ages? Or has history treated them unfairly? This book looks at the stories of their lives and reigns, all of which were dramatic and often unpredictable. It then examines how they have been seen since their deaths, the ways their reputations have been shaped across the centuries. The standards of their own age were different to our own. How these kings have been judged has changed over time, sometimes dramatically. Fiction, from Shakespeare’s plays to modern films, has also played its part in creating the modern picture. Many things have created, over a long period, the negative reputations of these five. Today, they have come to number among the worst kings of English history. Is this fair, or should they be redeemed? That is the question this book sets out to answer.

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Weight 0.512 kg
Dimensions 23.4 × 15.6 × 2.9 cm










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