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Government and Political Life in England and France, c.1300–c.1500
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    2017. BIBLIOGRAPHY. Camden Fifth Series, Vol. 52, Issue. , p. 283.

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Book description

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.

Reviews

‘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.'

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