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Edward II by Seymour Phillips
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This biography does not present Edward II as a heroic or successful king: his deposition after a turbulent reign of nearly twenty years is proof enough that it went terribly wrong. But Seymour Phillips' scrutiny of the multitude of available sources shows that a richer picture emerges, in line with the complexity of events and of the man himself. If Edward II was not a successful king, he was not fundamentally different in many ways from most English monarchs. The biography strikes a deft balance, taking full account of the problems the king faced in England, Scotland, and Ireland and in his relations with France. It also tackles the contentious issue of whether Edward II did not die in 1327, murdered under barbaric circumstances, but lived on as a captive in England and then a wanderer on the Continent. --from publisher description… (more)
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    The Three Edwards: War and State in England 1272-1377 by Michael Prestwich (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: The disastrous reign of Edward II did not happen in isolation. Edward's weaknesses were at least partly the result of the way his father's reign proceeded, and Edward's errors created the situation Edward III inherited -- a situation which led to the Hundred Years' War. Michael Prestwich's book, although thin and popular in tone, is a fine overview to the historical situation which shaped the reign of Edward II.… (more)

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Introduction -- To all outward appearances Edward II was a founder member of that select band of rules who seem to have been doomed to disaster and to ignominy almost from the moment of their birth; about whom little that was good was said in their lifetime, and little to their credit has been written since.
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