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The Hundred Years War, Volume 3: Divided Houses (The Middle Ages Series)

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0812242232
ISBN-10: 0812242238
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Editorial Reviews


"There is no other book which tells the story of this phase of the war so fluently or in such absorbing detail, or which conveys so graphically 'the savagery, the utter savagery,' to say nothing of the sheer pointlessness, of it all. Divided Houses is a compelling, sustained exercise in original research: all in all, a remarkable achievement."—TLS

"Jonathan Sumption is not only one of Britain's leading lawyers but also an outstanding medieval historian, and in Divided Houses he has produced the third volume of his definitive history of the Hundred Years War, an enthralling account of English decay and French resurgence, which should be essential reading for Eurosceptics—and saner people, too."—David Cannadine, TLS

"In Divided Houses, the third volume of his history of the Hundred years War, Jonathan Sumption marches on magisterially as the French and English (nothing 'British' about them) slog it out for the European heavyweight crown in one of the longest contests of all time."—Frederic Raphael, TLS

"This splendid history of the Hundred Years War belongs in any collection on late medieval western Europe. Recommended without reservation. Essential."—Choice

About the Author

Jonathan Sumption is a former history fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and the author of The Hundred Years War, Volume I: Trial by Battle and The Hundred Years War, Volume II: Trial by Fire, both also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Middle Ages Series (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 1006 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (September 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812242238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812242232
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,644,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The bad blood that boils between nations can last generations. "The Hundred Years War III: Divided Houses" is the third volume of the complete and comprehensive coverage of one of Europe's longest and bloodiest sustained conflicts between England and France throughout the fourteenth century. With maps and much discussion over many of the historic events during the twenty four year period from 1369 to 1393 where the leaders were mentally unstable and inexperienced, exacerbating the existing problems of the conflict. "The Hundred Years War III" is a core addition to any European medieval history collection, enthusiastically recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Fuchs VINE VOICE on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The amazing thing about Jonathan Sumption's books on the Hundred Years' War is not the ten years of research and writing that has gone into each volume, but the clarity and completeness of the narrative and the pure readability. As is obvious by the size of each volume (nearly 900 pages) these are not books for those wanting merely an overview of the war or any easy and brief conclusions. Each volume of Sumption's history covers in detail the major events and players of the era, not just in England and France, although the focus is obviously on the two, but on Spain, Portugal, Scotland, Italy, the Low Countries and places further east as well.

Notwithstanding the level of detail, this book, like the two other volumes, is highly readable. Sumption is an excellent writer as well as a master story teller and historian. Easy to read maps of terrain and battle formations as well as clear family trees help the reader make sense of the large amount of data. Other than these, there are no pictures as can often be found in less scholarly works on the subject.

This volume begins with the future Charles V of France's repudiation of the Treaties of Bretigny and Calais, which followed the Battle of Poitiers and the capture of the French king, John II, and ends with the deposition of Richard II of England. As in the prior volume, much attention is paid to the machinations of that master villain of the age, Charles the Bad (Charles II of Navarre), one of the most fascinating characters of any era of history.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Cooper on May 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
'Divided Houses' is the third volume of Jonathan Sumption's history of the Hundred Years War. It is unlikely to be the last, since the author set out, twenty years ago, to write a history of the entire War, and he has only reached the Revolution of 1399. The fact that the author has now been made a judge of the Supreme Court is unlikely to stop him.

As he told us in the Preface to his first volume, Sumption's objective is to write a grand narrative, based primarily on documentary rather than chronicle sources: he considers the chronicles `episodic, prejudiced, inaccurate and late'. He also aimed to eschew analysis, as well as the scholarly debates which so often sidetrack historians. He appears to have explored all the printed primary sources (together with a good number of the unprinted ones) and to have read all the secondary authorities; and to have pursued his researches in several countries: England, France and Spain at the least.

The author's style is not that of Edward Gibbon: he is too much the modern, workmanlike barrister for that, driving home his case by the patient accumulation of detailed evidence; but he paints a fine picture. Read this book.

Stephen Cooper
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By g l minihan on April 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sumption does an excellent job of providing a fluent, clear historical narrative of the last phase of the Hundred Years War, simplifying an extremely complicated set of events. All three books in the series are essential to anyone with an interest, academic or otherwise, in the period.

A note for academics:
- The footnoting has been streamlined for a commercial audience, which can sometimes mean a frustrating search for the correct reference for a particular part of a paragraph.
- Sumption writes with a strong voice, rarely flagging assumptions or inferences as such. Care must be taken to cross-reference his discussion wherever it deviates from the narration of a set of factual events.
- Sources referenced can be incredibly difficult to find in the (badly sectioned) bibliography.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jonathan Sumption's spectacular history of the Hundred Years War is a treat for any history fan. Rarely will you find a scholarly and massively researched history as fluently and engagingly written as these volumes. A fine testament to the value of narrative history. Can't wait till the bext volume
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