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Thread: A little light reading

  1. #1
    Gorrrrrn's Avatar Citizen
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    Default A little light reading

    For those wanting some background information on this period, it might be an idea to share some recommended titles:

    Prestwich, Michael The Three Edwards: War and state in England 1272 - 1377" Routledge 1980 (and later reprints)

    Covers a slightly longer timespan than the Mod but excellent on the political intrigues and the warfare of the period.

    Prestwich, Michael "Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages. The English experience" Yale UP 1996 / 1999

    (Only just got this but looks the business.)

    Jones, Terry "Medieval Lives" BBC 2004.

    The book of the TV series, and despite Jones knock-about style, is based on some serious scholarship as the bibliography shows. Jones punctures all manner of myths and stereotypes along the way as he looks at 8 key members of the medieval community. Look for the description of the minstrel Roger Le Pettour's masterpiece and how much Henry II rewarded him for it. Lots of colour illustrations too.

    and what have you been reading?

  2. #2

    Default Re: A little light reading

    A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, by Marc Morris. I found this quite good, though it does neglect Ireland somewhat.

    Ireland and Britain 1170-1450, by Robin Frame is also excellent, but it does go outside of the period too.

    The Lordship of Ireland in the Middle Ages, by James Lyndon is an excellent book but its not particularly well written (in my opinion).

    Robert Bruce: Our most valient king and lord, by Colm McNamee is very entertaining and well researched.

  3. #3
    wilddog's Avatar Paintedwolves run free
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, by Marc Morris. I found this quite good, though it does neglect Ireland somewhat.
    Agree its a good book with a lot of useful info. I think it neglects Ireland as its really about Edward I and where he went and Ireland wasn't one of those places. Quite a lot of good information on his trips to Gascony though and the war with France over it. I also hadn't quite realised the 'history' between him and Llywellyn.

    Robert Bruce: Our most valiant king and lord, by Colm McNamee is very entertaining and well researched.
    Got it but still on my list to read.. just don't get enough time and not high enough on that list yet.

    One I got without really looking properly was the Osprey 'The scottish and welsh wars 1250-1400' - basically nothing useful in it about Wales. Most drawings were pretty straight forward and other versions of similar pictures by a different author I already had.

    other books .. lots (particularly about castles)

    Welsh military Institutions 633-1283 (mentioned elsewhere) by Sean Davies. Nothing particularly enlightening but has a lot of references and is well researched. Mostly though info around the middle of that period but nice maps (some are on the web).
    Last edited by wilddog; May 07, 2010 at 03:22 PM.

  4. #4
    Gorrrrrn's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    Made a start on the marc morris book on edward I - all good background reading. (would also like to see his work on the Bigods - but it's a tad expensive.)

    H.J. Hewitt "The organisation of War under Edward III" (the pen and sword reprint of 2004) is excellent for understanding the preparation that went into medieval warfare.
    Although it slightly post-dates the PKH period - still very informative. (biggest difference would the growth of indentured recruiting in EIII period compared to the feudal massive of E1.)
    Good for some tables showing where armed men and archers were actually recruited from.

    Fryde, EB and Miller, Edward "Historical Studies of the English parliament vol 1 - origins to 1399" A dated series of essays from Cambridge UP pub 1970, but very interesting if you want to see how the institution developed in a very haphazard way through the 13th and 14th centuries. Shows how EI learnt from HIII about need for consent and representation - based on de Montfort's ideas for a parliament. Interesting tables showing the 39 towns and cities that were most frequently represented in parliament in 1290 -1327 (for which records survive.)

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    Hresvelgr's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    I just found an interesting one; -The Welsh wars of Edward I: A Contribution to Medieval Military History based on Original Documents

    Here is a link: http://books.google.com/books?id=ZQ1...gbs_navlinks_s

    Full view available due to copyright running out, it was published in 1901.
    I'm not crazy, I'm the only one who's not crazy!


  6. #6
    wilddog's Avatar Paintedwolves run free
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    Quote Originally Posted by Hresvelgr
    I just found an interesting one; -The Welsh wars of Edward I: A Contribution to Medieval Military History based on Original Documents
    That looks a good find. Just spent half an hour or so browsing through it and its got a lot of useful information.

  7. #7
    wilddog's Avatar Paintedwolves run free
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    some other books I have :
    The English Nobility in the late Middle ages - Chris Given-Wilson

    The later Middle Ages 1272-1485 - George Holmes

    The March of Wales 1067-1300 - Max Lieberman

    James the Good The Black Douglas - David R Ross

    The Greatest Traitor - Ian Mortimer

    and of course the obvious one

    Llywelyn ap Gruffudd - Prince of Wales - J Beverley Smith

  8. #8
    Gorrrrrn's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    Finished the marc Morris on Edward I - a great and terrible king - particularly terrible if you were jewish, welsh or scottish in particular.

    Now ploughing through JL Bolton "The medieval English economy 1150 - 1500" which is proving more interesting than i expected.
    (perfect bound paperback - falling apart as i read it!)

    also Neil Oliver's whizz through scottish history - which is good read too.

  9. #9
    wilddog's Avatar Paintedwolves run free
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    Finished the marc Morris on Edward I - a great and terrible king - particularly terrible if you were jewish, welsh or scottish in particular.
    Yes I thought some of those bits were quite interesting. I certainly hadn't come across a lot of the events before.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    I managed to finish the Bolton, but if you get an edition with perfect binding (like me) it'll probably fall to bits as you read it.
    But excellent summary, even if getting a tad dated now.

    I was looking for a reasonable reference on english castles (I've got enough on welsh ones) and found Adrian Pettifer's "English Castles" (Boydell and Brewer 1995) very informative.
    Arranged by county, and enough plans and photos to be useful. Not a glossy full-colour production but 350 pages of solid text. Helps sort out which castles you see on maps were
    still being used at particular times. A useful supplement to on-line resources. (Also perfect bound, but generously so.)

  11. #11
    wilddog's Avatar Paintedwolves run free
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    @Rozanov - I've picked up a few general castle books as well as ones from visiting sites. A useful one which was only about a fiver was Castles of the British isles by Plantagenet Somerset Fry. Its not a flashy book but has small sections on many castles and a reasonable number of ground maps.

  12. #12
    Gorrrrrn's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: A little light reading

    Yeah - I've seen the Fry mentioned - but something about the author's name put me off buying it.
    (sounds bit of an upper-class twit)
    just read his biog on wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantagenet_Somerset_Fry

    the name was one he made up, so not an upper-class twit.

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