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Nobility and Kingship in Medieval England
The Earls and Edward I, 1272–1307

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107608481

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  • Nobility and Kingship in Medieval England is a major new account of the relationship between Edward I and his earls, and of the role of the English nobility in thirteenth-century governance. Re-evaluating crown-noble relations of the period, Spencer challenges traditional interpretations of Edward's reign, showing that his reputed masterfulness has been overplayed and that his kingship was far subtler, and therefore more effective, than this stereotype would suggest. Drawing from key earldoms such as Lincoln, Lancaster, Cornwall and Warenne, the book reveals how nobles created local followings and exercised power at a local level as well as surveying the political, governmental, social and military lives of the earls, prompting us to rethink our perception of their position in thirteenth-century politics. Adopting a powerful revisionist perspective, Spencer presents a major new statement about thirteenth-century England; one which will transform our understanding of politics and kingship in the period.

    • Offers a colourful revision of the relationship between Edward I and his earls, and the role of the English nobility in thirteenth-century governance
    • Evaluates a broad spectrum of the noble experience, including local power, governance and royal relations
    • Provides a detailed analysis of the political, governmental, social and military lives of the earls during the reign of Edward I
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Andrew M. Spencer's Nobility and Kingship in Medieval England provides a new and enterprising view of an old subject by arguing, contra almost everyone, that most of Edward's earls were loyalists during the great crises of his reign and that their local power was more dependent on the defence and extension of jurisdictional rights than on their use of retainers to control the shires.' John Maddicott, 'Books of the Year', History Today

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107608481
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 2 maps 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. The Earls and their lands
    Part I. The King and the Earls:
    2. Consorts, companions and counsellors
    3. Justice, franchises, war and reward
    Part II. The Earls in Local Society:
    4. Introduction to Earls in local society
    5. The creation of comital followings
    6. The exercise of comital power
    Part III. Politics and the Earls:
    7. The making of Edwardian power, 1265–86
    8. The Testing Ground, 1286–1307
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Andrew M. Spencer, University of Cambridge
    Andrew M. Spencer was educated at King's College London, where he won the Derby–Bryce Prize for History, and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He is currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and a Research Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

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