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Edward III (The English Monarchs Series) Hardcover – January 24, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Ormrod (Univ. of York, UK) has proven himself to be the ideal historian to produce a superlative biography of King Edward. . . . Ormrod gets as close to understanding Edward and his reign as anyone is likely to get."—A.C. Reeves, Choice
(A.C. Reeves Choice)

Book Description

An enlightening biography that takes a deeper look at the personality of this celebrated warrior king, emphasising the importance of Edward's familial relationships and his achievement of a cohesive stable nation.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: The English Monarchs Series
  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300119100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300119107
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 2.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The new book on Edward III is a truly great statement of scholarship by Mark Ormrod. It presented Edward as the true savior of the English Monarchy in one of its darkest hours and also shows Edward as the upholder of England for the next fifty years. Truly a masterful book.

What I was struck by was Edward's clear purpose to rebuild the crushed monarchy he had inherited from his father, and to transform this monarchy into the most powerful state in Europe and himself as Europe's most powerful monarch. It shows all the common threads of Edwardian kingship: the warrior-king, the great builder, the creator of true chivalry, and the image of a great statesman. What is new however, is Edward's sense of dynasticism: his goal to create a Plantagaent empire in Britain, France, and even Spain and to give his sons provinces in this empire to rule on his behalf. If anyone needed reassurance on Edward III, family king, it is the twelve miniture figures of the king's children around his tomb in Westminister Abbey.

I could touch on many other aspects of this book, but the fact is that this is a truly great book on Edward III. I enjoyed it immensly, and I think it should be widely read. As another review said of this book, at last we have the 'go-to' scholarly book on Edward III.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At over 700 pages, I admit I haven't read every chapter yet, but I have read many other works in the Yale English Monarch series, and among this outstanding series of works, this book stands out in particular. The scholarship achieved is stunning, the text well-written with a high degree of clarity and insight. Edward III was the grandson of a great king and the son of a murdered king. His reign spanned the Black Death, and saw the stirrings of the reformation. His reign saw the beginning of the 100 year war with France, and Edward, ever the most chivalrous of kings, began the Order of the Garter. Despite the lack of contemporary journalism, tremendous insight on the daily workings is captured by the lists and records that were kept, and are interpreted here in a coherent form.

With so many works of history I feel I'm being told something without any proof to back it up, and as an engineer (late medieval/early modern British history is my hobby) this has always rankled. With Ormrod, we are shown the evidence. Yet the text doesn't suffer from too many citations and being "weedy". Professor Ormrod knows his subject so well and is so fascinated by it himself his enthusiasm is contagious.

The bibliography alone is worth the price of the book, and I think this work will be held out as an exemplar for other monarchical biographies for a long time to come, and is and will be the definitive biography of one of England's great kings.
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Format: Paperback
Along with Henry II, Edward I and Henry V, Edward III (1312-1377) was one of the great kings of medieval England. Not noted for his intellectual or aesthetic achievements, he had a great heart, inspired loyalty throughout his reign and carried English arms to glory at Crecy, Poitiers and Sluys - he was responsible for kicking off what became known as The Hundred Years War. During his long reign, he managed to upgrade and increase the effectiveness of government in England, especially in the realms of finance and local dispensation of justice. On the downside, one could say that his constant obsession to enlarge his kingdom through foreign wars in France, Scotland and even Spain weakened his kingdom in the long run, and the jury is still out as to whether his many offspring were a factor that created stability or the lack of it in the long run in the lead up to the (civil) War of the Roses. His continual need for hard cash to finance his military adventures was a major factor in the increased power and influence of Parliament, no small feat in the light of military emergency. All in all, a fascinating character. Professor Ormrod does his best - given the lack of sources - to bring the inner man to life - and also provides us with a primer on how government, diplomacy and war functioned (or didn't) in the Middle Ages. Well-written and even entertaining, this work will be the go-to book on Edward III for many years to come. First rate.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book that will probably become the definitive biography of Edward III, one of England's most interesting kings.

Some readers may be put off by the book's length (800 + pages). The author does go into great detail about his topic but Edward III is a very interesting subject and the 14th century is a very interesting period of British and European history, so extra detail is not a bad thing.

This is a very interesting and well written book. Anyone interested in this period of British or European history should find it worthwhile.

Addition to my original post:

For those with Kindles, there are two free e-book downloads on the Amazon Kindle site that will be of interest to anyone interested in this history of Edward III. These two e-books are short histories of the campaigns which resulted in the Battle of Crecy and the Battle of Poitiers. Both were written by Hilaire Belloc (of Cautionary Tales For Children fame) circa 1910 as part of series Belloc wrote about important European battles. The titles are simple; one is called "Crecy" and the other is called "Poitiers". I've reviewed both on the Kindle site and rated both as 5 stars. Both are excellent, both are free downloads and both should be of interest to anyone interested in this biography of Edward III.
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