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The Perfect King (edition 2008)
by Ian Mortimer
The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation by Ian Mortimer
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 022407301X, Hardcover)He ordered his uncle to be beheaded, and usurped his father’s throne. Yet under his rule, England experienced its longest period of domestic peace in the Middle Ages. In this first full biography of Edward III (1327-77), he emerges as the father of the English nation and the English people.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:46 -0400)
"He ordered his uncle to be beheaded; he usurped his father's throne; he taxed his people more than any other previous king, and he started a war which lasted to more than a hundred years. Yet for centuries Edward III (1312-77) was celebrated as the most brilliant of all Englisn monarchs, and thee hundred years after his death it was said that his kingship was perhaps the greatest that the world has ever known." "In this first full study of his character and life, Ian Mortimer shows how Edward personally provided the impetus for much of the drama of his fifty-year reign. Edward overcame the tyranny of his guardians at the age of seventeen and then set about developing a new form of awe-inspiring chivalric kingship. Under him the feudal kingdom of England became a highly organised nation, capable of raising large revenues and deploying a new type of warfare, culminating in the crushing victory over the French at Crecy. Yet under his rule England also experienced its longest period of domestic peace in the middle ages, giving rise to a massive increase of the nation's wealth through the wool trade, with huge consequences for society, art and architecture. It is to Edward that England owes its system of parliamentary representation, its local justice system, its national flag and the recognition of English as the language of the nation." "Nineteenth-century historians saw in Edward the opportunity to decry a warmonger, and painted him as a self-seeking, rapacious, tax-gathering conequeror. Yet as this book shows, beneath the strong warrior king was a compassionate, conscientious and often merciful man - resolute yet devoted to his wife, friends and family. He emerges as a strikingly modern figure, to whom many will be able to relate - the father of both the English people and the English nation."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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