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Forging the Kingdom
Power in English Society, 973–1189

  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521158299


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About the Authors
  • Between the imperial coronation of Edgar in 973 and the death of Henry II in 1189, English society was transformed. This lively and wide-ranging study explores social and political change in England across this period, and examines the reasons for such developments, as well as the many continuities. By putting the events of 1066 firmly in the middle of her account, Judith Green casts new light on the significance of the Norman Conquest. She analyses the changing ways that kings, lords and churchmen exercised power, especially through the building of massive stone cathedrals and numerous castles, and highlights the importance of London as the capital city. The book also explores themes such as changes in warfare, the decline of slavery and the integration of the North and South West, as well as concepts such as state, nationalism and patriarchy.

    • A new approach to social and political change that challenges the usual periodisation around 1066
    • Discusses both vertical and lateral social relationships, highlighting the importance of social networks
    • Documents the rise of London as a capital city in terms of economic growth and political importance
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'History is inevitably a matter of power: who possessed it, who lost or gained it, from where could it be acquired, and how was it best exercised? Judith Green takes us into the hidden engine rooms of the medieval English state. With an eye for detail and a willingness to challenge consensus, she suggests ways in which power was contested and transmitted. In the process, England developed institutions and traditions subtly distinct from those of other parts of medieval Europe. This is a thought-provoking book that deserves a wide readership.' Nicholas Vincent, University of East Anglia

    'Forging the Kingdom: Power in English Society 973–1189 offers a compelling argument that either side of '1066', despite its veneer of administrative unity, England was a fragmented kingdom rooted in communities where local cohesiveness held in check coercion by royal and aristocratic elites. A thought-provoking book by one of Britain's leading scholars of medieval England, this is an innovative study that is a must for anyone interested in the history of England in the central Middle Ages.' Elisabeth van Houts, University of Cambridge

    'Green offers an updated survey of political and social transitions between the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman monarchies. Framed as a history of power and its exercise, this volume reaffirms the traditional historiography of kings, nobles, and churchmen laying the foundations of the modern English state; hence, social change is defined as only that among the politically powerful. Untraditionally, however, Green shifts the post Anglo-Saxon temporal frame from the expected 1066–1135 period to the year 1189, which allows her to include the reign of Henry II. Such an expansion of the transition window, with its inclusion of the Angevin's legal and administrative kingship as well as of London's rise as the kingdom's capital, provides a new optics for the traditional view that the medieval English kingdom was indeed a state. … Power itself is well considered, often with reference to developments in Continental Europe. … Recommended. Graduate students/faculty.' J. P. Huffman, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521158299
    • length: 318 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Contexts
    3. Kings
    4. Lay lords: an age of aristocracy
    5. Archbishops, bishops and abbots
    6. Individuals, communities and networks
    7. Power and place
    8. London: the making of a capital city
    9. A patchwork kingdom

  • Author

    Judith A. Green, University of Edinburgh
    Judith Green was Professor of Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh and Queen's University, Belfast, prior to her retirement. She is the author of several works on the history of England and Normandy between the tenth and twelfth centuries, including The Aristocracy of Norman England (Cambridge, 2002) and Henry I: King of England and Duke of Normandy (Cambridge, 2006). She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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