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. Publication Date: May 28, List Price: This is a masterly study of a complex reign, with its triumphs in the French wars, and with the eventual tragedy of the final years marred by corruption and failing finances.
At long last we have a book which does full justice to its subject, and which be read with profit by both scholar and general reader alike. It is as colourful and captivating — one imagines — as the tapestries with which Edward adorned his apartments; but it is as solidly built as Windsor Castle. Mark Ormrod sets a new and dazzling standard in the writing of biographies of medieval rulers. He brings Edward III vividly to life and a gripping and taut series of analyses focus on the multiple problems facing the English monarchy, Edward's attempts to impose a new agenda, and the lasting effects this had on the character of English kingship.
Ormrod gets as close to understanding Edward and his reign as anyone is likely to get.
Reeves, Choice. You can subscribe here. Initially, a much-admired king whose main interests were warfare and the extension of the Kingdom of England, Edward III became unpopular in his later years as his military campaigns failed, the economy suffered, and his health deteriorated. Edward III did not have a particularly stable upbringing.
The first son of King Edward II, a notorious royal failure, Edward was used by his mother Isabella and her new lover Lord Mortimer to remove his father from the throne forcibly.
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Unwilling to leave England and ignorant to the plot that his wife Isabella and her exiled lover Mortimer were forming against him, Edward II sent his son Edward in his place. Isabella promptly had the young Edward engaged to Philippa of Hainault and, with the support of the French King, launched an invasion against England.
At first, Edward was a puppet in the administration of Mortimer, the de facto ruler of England. A treaty that proved to be even more damaging than first thought as Charles died almost immediately, giving Edward a legitimate claim to the French throne that was now forfeited. Edward was married to Philippa in January Despite that fact that Edward was only 15 at the time of the marriage and Philippa just 13, the couple managed to have a son within two years.
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Edward took to the throne with gusto and immediately set out to prove himself as a worthy king by renewing the war against the Scots. But Scotland was already at war with itself. Victory over France would lead to the expansion of an already lucrative wool trade with Flanders and wine trade with Gascony as well as opportunities for feudal taxes and all-out plunder of French towns.
The invasion was popular with the English public. In a significant naval battle in , the English Navy destroyed almost the entire French fleet at Sluys.
The Black Death killed 1. One-third of the population of England died of the plague and what remained of the decimated population was neither able nor willing to fund a war overseas. England owned a great deal of land in France, and the French central government had totally collapsed.
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However, the final push that would have seen Edward III crowned King of France never came, and in , Edward renounced his claim to the throne and in return was awarded extended territory around Aquitaine and the bastion of Calais, now owning almost one-quarter of France. By the mids, Edward was increasingly relying on his sons to manage his military efforts and state affairs. The venture was a disaster, and in April , John II of France died in captivity in England having failed to raise his ransom, restarting the war with France.
Largely deserted by his family, Edward was alone with Alice Perrers when he died of a stroke in June Edward created the Order of the Garter, creating a sense of camaraderie amongst his peerage, a peerage that he purposefully expanded during his reign by creating many new earls and dukes.
The people of England were united in their fear of a French invasion and turned to Edward, a war-hungry king, for reassurance.