"A notably satisfying book....The pleasure is enlarged when the message, both for the detail and the broad view, is delivered with conscious punctilio and urbanity....These mature reflections are calculated to excite students and to provoke their teachers out of routine responses."--Speculum
"Professor Wood's study of French and English history in the late Middle ages is a notably satisfying book ... Wood has style, both in curiosity and diction, and fortunately he enjoys displaying it."--Speculum
A Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
"Readers...will find much to ponder in this rich collection of essays."--Choice
"Wood works close to his primary sources and is therefore interesting to argue with....Contains a number of fresh insights."--American Historical Review
"A lively, provocative book...Wood dives into his story with zest."--Catholic Historical Review
From the Back Cover
Medieval historian Charles Wood considers the larger than life figures Joan of Arc and Richard III, whose actions, both real and legendary, helped to shape the political character of their respective countries. Wood explores how France and England, governmentally so similar in the eleventh century, became so dissimilar by the fifteenth, with France's monarchy moving rapidly toward absolutism while England's was becoming more limited and representational. Wood argues that Joan of Arc and Richard III gave final medieval form to these developments, Joan by restoring the sanctity of the French crown through her divine mission, Richard by rendering legitimate the restraining role of Parliament. Focusing on topics often neglected by other historians, Wood includes lively discussions of royal adultery scandals, child-kings and the problems they posed, and earlier peoples and crisis that helped to shape the culture of sex and sainthood that was so profoundly that of the Middle Ages.