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Edward, Prince of Wales and Aquitaine: A Biography of the Black Prince Paperback – October 20, 1996
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First off is the looking into of the Prince's childhood. In all the books I've read on him, Barber's account of the young prince's childhood was the most detailed account of the household, and it clearly showed the Prince's upbringing as a war leader: he had horses by the age of four and armor by the age of seven. This is clearly a preview of his later military success.
Another thing Barber brings across is the relationship between the Prince and his father, Edward III. It showed a great father son love/respect for each other. It is also a huge impact on the Prince's career; he learned everything from his father, from warfare to leadership. Hugely important, and Barber clearly makes the relationship known.
I particularly liked the battles: Crecy, Poitiers, Najera, and Limoges were very well descriped. Barber has a talent for writing an account of a battle that really takes you back to the battlefields of the Prince's incredible victories. Another thing about the battles is that Frossait is absent from the records, usually. Barber cleary states that he doesn't use Frossait's chronicle is that it doesn't present the facts in a scholarly way, but in story form. Good move for Mr. Barber.
This book is very detailed and an incrediable good study and biography of a famous legend of someone like the Black Prince
If you are looking for a book that details the life of a great leader, and digs deeply into the machinations behind the events of his times, this is definitely the book to get.
So, point of the review: Armchair historians beware! This is a deep, quite dry history of the Black Prince.
Edward is called the Back Prince according to Barber because of the color of his armour and discredits other interpretations of the prince's name.Some interpretations describe him as dark and swarthy and others as having a dark demeanor when engaged in combat.Was the paint on his armour a lead based black?(my observation)If so there could be another interpretation of his "black moods" to be discredited.I have however on numerous occasions seen armor that was black without painting due to the smelting process and not polished.Was the black prince showing his rough cut by wearing unpolished armor?Barber uses the Froissart source alot for his information but uses an abundance of primary sources as well.
The prince comes off in Barbers' book as a "son of honor",no plots here to usurp the throne of Edward his father or discredit any of his brothers or sisters.The Black Prince is just having too good a time at crushing Englands enemies.He seems naive insisting that his father,Edward the third, is also the rightful "King of France".The Crecy and Poitier campaigns are covered with some small maps and some of his lesser known military exploits are also covered.In his last European campaign he is carried into danger by a litter due to dystentary(or black paint chips?).(my own misinterpretation).At 46 he is literally dead in the saddle,an act never to be repeated on this planet.Read more ›