King John - Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta

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9781605988856: King John - Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta
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Morris brilliantly revisits the Norman Conquest, the single most important event in English history, by following the body-strewn fortunes of its key players: England s King Edward the Confessor; his hated father-in-law and England s premier earl, Godwine; Harold II, the prior s son and England s last Anglo-Saxon king; and Edward s cousin William, the fearsome duke of Normandy, known by contemporaries as the Bastard and by posterity as the Conqueror. Miraculously surviving a Viking invasion, exile, the death of six older half-brothers (from battle, illness, and execution), and his mother s perfidies, Edward a descendant of Alfred the Great took the English crown but was dominated by his father-in-law. Yet to Godwine s chagrin, Edward chose William as his successor in return for his loyalty. Nevertheless, after Edward s death, Harold snatched the crown, setting in motion William s invasion and his own death at the supremely gory Battle of Hastings. In England, William and the Normans ended slavery, dispossessed the English ruling elite of their lands, ushered in an architectural revolution, zealously reformed the Church, and savagely starved the north into submission. Readable, authoritative, and remarkably nuanced, Morris s history is sublime. 8 pages of color illus., two maps, and two family trees. "

A lively subject, depicted with dash and color, brought to bright life with telling detail. Morris gives a compelling account of the invasion by William the Conqueror in 1066 and the violent struggle thereafter. Morris provides a much-needed, modern account of the Normans in England that respects past events more than present ideologies. "

The story of William the Conqueror s invasion of England is hardly new, but the situations that prompted it on both sides of the English Channel have never been told in so much depth. A historian who specializes in the Middle Ages, especially that period s monarchies and aristocracy, Morris takes thoroughness to new heights as he compares all the available sources in this valuable text. The French relied on the writings of William of Jumieges, chaplain to William; the Bayeux Tapestry commissioned by William s half brother, Bishop Odo; and the work of Orderic Vitalis, an Anglo-Norman born in 1075. The English viewpoint comes from the anonymously penned Life of King Edward and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. The difficulty with the Chronicles is that it was copied by different monasteries, each skewing facts to fit their particular patron s viewpoint. There is no doubt that King Edward the Confessor was king in name only; Earl Godwin s family was effectively ruling England during Edward s reign. His daughter married Edward, and his sons, including Harold (he of the arrow in the eye), held all England save Mercia. No wonder they felt the crown was rightfully theirs. William s abilities and the Vikings' support of brother Tostig s greed proved them wrong. The most important source for the actual invasion is Song of the Battle of Hastings, a contemporary epic poem only discovered in the early-19th century. The English rebelled against foreign rule, new language and customs for five more years before a semblance of order was established. The author includes useful maps, an expansive genealogical tree and extensive notes. A thoroughly enjoyable book from an historian s historian who can write for the masses. "

Marc Morris s lively new book retells the story of the Norman invasion with vigor and narrative urgency. A stirring account of 1066 with a firm grip on the thrust and style of a popular history. "

Uncommonly good. It s compelling stuff. "

A traditional politics-and-war biography: a relentless succession of intrigues, quarrels, battles, sieges, negotiations, truces, and betrayals illuminated by lucid writing.

Highly readable.

In lively, cultured prose, English historian Morris The Norman Conquest) investigates the complex road taken by 'Bad King John' to the signing of the Magna Carta in June of 1215. Full of fascinating details, with the added bonus of a translation of the full Magna Carta.

Reseña del editor:

King John is familiar to everyone as the villain from the tales of Robin Hood—greedy, cowardly, despicable, and cruel. But who was the man behind the legend? Was he truly a monster, or a capable ruler cursed by bad luck? In this new book bestselling historian Marc Morris draws on contemporary chronicles and the king's own letters to bring the real King John vividly to life.John was dynamic, inventive and relentless, but also a figure with terrible flaws. In two interwoven stories, we see how he went from being a youngest son with limited prospects to the ruler of the greatest dominion in Europe, an empire that stretched from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees. His rise to power involved treachery, rebellion and murder. His reign saw oppression on an almost unprecedented scale: former friends hounded into exile and oblivion; Wales, Scotland and Ireland invaded; the greatest level of financial exploitation since the Norman Conquest. A quarrel with the pope led to the king being excommunicated and England being placed under Interdict. John's tyrannical rule climaxed in conspiracy and revolt, and his leading subjects famously forced him to issue Magna Carta, a document binding him and his successors to behave better in future. The king's rejection of the charter led to civil war and foreign invasion, bringing his life to a disastrous close.Authoritative and dramatic, Marc Morris's King John offers a compelling portrait of an extraordinary man, whose reign marked a momentous turning point in the history of Britain and Europe.

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9781681772622: King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta

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ISBN 10:  1681772620 ISBN 13:  9781681772622
Verlag: Pegasus Books, 2016
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