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Government and Political Life in England and France, c.1300–c.1500


Jean-Philippe Genet, Malcolm Vale, Steven Gunn, Armand Jamme, Christine Carpenter, Olivier Mattéoni, David Grummitt, Jean-François Lassalmonie, Michelle Bubenicek, Richard Partington, Benjamin Thompson, Jacques Verger, Christopher Fletcher, Gwilym Dodd, Sophie Petit-Renaud, Vincent Challet, Ian Forrest, Franck Collard, Aude Mairey, John Watts
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  • Date Published: April 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107089907

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About the Authors
  • How did the kings of England and France govern their kingdoms? This volume, the product of a ten-year international project, brings together specialists in late medieval England and France to explore the multiple mechanisms by which monarchs exercised their power in the final centuries of the Middle Ages. Collaborative chapters, mostly co-written by experts on each kingdom, cover topics ranging from courts, military networks and public finance; office, justice and the men of the church; to political representation, petitioning, cultural conceptions of political society; and the role of those excluded from formal involvement in politics. The result is a richly detailed and innovative comparison of the nature of government and political life, seen from the point of view of how the king ruled his kingdom, but bringing to bear the methods of social, cultural and economic history to understand the underlying armature of royal power.

    • An unprecedented cooperative project co-written by specialists on the kingdoms of England and France in the later Middle Ages
    • Offers a genuinely comparative and in-depth perspective on complex questions of historiography and sources
    • Tightly focused on royal government, with analysis informed by the lessons of social, economic and cultural history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'These fascinating essays enable the creative tension between Anglophone and Francophone approaches to the history of governance to interrogate the received wisdom about political life in late medieval Europe. For anyone studying political institutions during a period of crisis, they offer an object lesson about the value of the comparative approach. The extensive chapter bibliographies will be a godsend to students and scholars alike.' James Collins, Georgetown University

    'The idea of structuring each chapter around a dialogue between a French and a British historian is a notably original one. In drawing attention to the way in which nineteenth-century attitudes can still dominate national historiographies and how the colleagues from the two sides of the Channel came at their subjects from different preconceived viewpoints and philosophies, the book brings out into the open points of fundamental importance. This is a volume that must find its way on to every relevant undergraduate book-list.' David Bates, University of East Anglia

    'This is an exemplary exercise by pairs of the best experts in late medieval French and English history to understand their different institutional evolution. It offers a systematic comparison of the practices of government in these two deeply entangled countries, united by centuries of wars launched by not always competent kings.' Wim Blockmans, Leiden University

    'Bringing together the collaborative work of 20 scholars, this volume offers comparative analyses of the governing structures and political societies of France and England in the later Middle Ages … The contributors survey the field from the point of view of how the kings ruled their kingdoms and bring to bear social, cultural, and economic history to draw out the similarities and differences in the national experiences of these countries so closely linked in both peace and war … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107089907
    • length: 394 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The government of later medieval France and England: a plea for comparative history Jean-Philippe Genet
    2. Courts Malcolm Vale
    3. Kings, nobles and military networks Steven Gunn and Armand Jamme
    4. Offices and officers Christine Carpenter and Olivier Mattéoni
    5. Royal public finance (c.1290–1523) David Grummitt and Jean-François Lassalmonie
    6. Justice, law and lawyers Michelle Bubenicek and Richard Partington
    7. Church and state, clerks and graduates Benjamin Thompson and Jacques Verger
    8. Political representation Christopher Fletcher
    9. Grace and favour: the petition and its mechanisms Gwilym Dodd and Sophie Petit-Renaud
    10. The masses Vincent Challet and Ian Forrest
    11. In the mirror of mutual representation: political society as seen by its members Franck Collard and Aude Mairey
    12. Conclusion John Watts.

  • Editors

    Christopher Fletcher, Université de Paris I
    Christopher Fletcher is a senior researcher (chargé de recherche) in CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) at the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), specialising in the history of late medieval political culture. He has taught at many universities in Britain and France, including London, Cambridge, Lille and 'Sciences Po' (Paris). His publications, in English and French, include Richard II: Manhood, Youth and Politics, 1377–99 (2008).

    Jean-Philippe Genet, Université de Paris I
    Jean-Philippe Genet has been professor at the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) for many years, specialising in European cultural and political history. He coordinated the CNRS 'Genèse de l'État moderne' and the ESF 'Origins of the Modern State' programs and more recently the ERC 'Signs and States' project. His publications include La Genèse de l'État moderne: Culture et société politique en Angleterre (2003) and Les îles britanniques des origines à la fin du Moyen Âge (2005).

    John Watts, University of Oxford
    John Watts is fellow and tutor in History at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He has written extensively on politics, government and political culture in later medieval Britain and Europe. His main books are Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (Cambridge, 1996), The Making of Polities: Europe, 1300–1500 (Cambridge, 2009), and an edited collection, The End of the Middle Ages? (1998). He is currently writing a volume in the New Oxford History of England series, entitled Renaissance England, 1461–1547.


    Jean-Philippe Genet, Malcolm Vale, Steven Gunn, Armand Jamme, Christine Carpenter, Olivier Mattéoni, David Grummitt, Jean-François Lassalmonie, Michelle Bubenicek, Richard Partington, Benjamin Thompson, Jacques Verger, Christopher Fletcher, Gwilym Dodd, Sophie Petit-Renaud, Vincent Challet, Ian Forrest, Franck Collard, Aude Mairey, John Watts

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