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The Origins of the English Gentry by Peter…

The Origins of the English Gentry

by Peter R. Coss

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Professor Coss has written a splendid analysis of the changing aristocracy of the two hundred years after 1150 that will be required reading for the next century or so. What he has also attempted is even more bold and original, nothing more nor less than to explain the evolution of the English gentry. ... To argue that the English gentry were 'formed between the mid-thirteenth and the mid-fourteenth century' (abstract, p. iii), as Coss does, is therefore controversial. If his important book is indeed 'the first sustained attempt to explore the origins of the gentry and to account for its contours and peculiarities as a social formation' (abstract, p. iii), it is not likely to enjoy universal acceptance.

Coss is especially well equipped for such an ambitious project. ... His discussions of recent historiography are especially clear and illuminating. Coss the innovator, hypothesiser, and controversialist is underpinned by Coss the meticulous researcher, analyst, and open-minded searcher for truth in what is in many ways an exemplary and undoubtedly far-reaching scholarly monograph.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 052182673X, Hardcover)

Although the gentry played a central role in medieval England, this study is the first sustained exploration of its origins and development between the mid-thirteenth and the mid-fourteenth century. Arguing against views which see the gentry as formed or created earlier, the text investigates as well the relationship between lesser landowners and the Angevin state; the transformation of knighthood; and the role of lesser landowners in society and politics.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:28 -0400)

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