A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain

A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain

by

english-royalty, , medieval, 21st-century, biography, 2019, england, british-history, biography, anglophilia, nonfic-history, british-lit, medieval-renaissance-history, favourites, dip-in-now-and-again, biography, history-politics-government, english-history, general-history, non-fiction, History, Biography, Nonfiction, Historical, European Literature, Audiobook, Biography Memoir

This is the first major biography for a generation of a truly formidable king – a man born to rule England, who believed that it was his right to rule all of Britain. His reign was one of the most dramatic and important of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale, and leaving a legacy of division between the peoples of Britain that has lasted from his day to our own.

Edward I is familiar to millions as ‘Longshanks’, conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (‘Braveheart’). Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king’s astonishingly action-packed life. Earlier Edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled across Europe to the Holy Land on crusade; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers, and constructing – at Conwy, Harlech, Beaumaris and Caernarfon – the most magnificent chain of castles ever created. He raised the greatest armies of the English Middle Ages, and summoned the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom. The longest-lived of all England’s medieval kings, he fathered no fewer than fifteen children with his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, and after her death he erected the Eleanor Crosses – the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.

In this book, Marc Morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England’s destiny – a sense shaped in particular by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. He also explores the competing reasons that led Edward’s opponents (including Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and Robert Bruce) to resist him, and the very different societies that then existed in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.

Title:A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780091796846
Format Type:

    A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    ”Comparing Edward I to his son Edward II, Robert the Bruce once declared, ‘I am more afraid of the bones of the father dead, than of the living son; and, by all the saints, it was more difficult t...

  • K.J. Charles

    Marc Morris may well be my favourite historian. Highly readable, thorough, even handed, full of intriguing details, gives a sense of personalities without attempting ventriloquy, and remembers that re...

  • Lindz

    Edward I is safe to say though a very smart and successful king was a bit of a bastard. Squashed the Welsh, stole from the Irish, bankrupted then evicted the Jews, and with the laugh of an evil genius...

  • David Eppenstein

    Okay I will admit to a less than scholarly reason for wanting to read the biography of this king. While I already have a fascination with English history, and that certainly helped my choice, I also l...

  • Wayne Barrett

    If your only knowledge of King Edward I is what you gleaned from Mel Gibsons "Braveheart", then let me say from the beginning, forget everything that you assume to be fact from that movie and realize ...

  • Juliew.

    Not really a very exciting read nevertheless I thought it seemed well researched an a good introduction to the subject.This focused on Edward I's campaigns in the Middle East,Wales and Scotland.Also,m...

  • Caroline

    I did enjoy this book, but I did find it verging on hagiography. I'll admit, Edward I is not my favourite king, far from it. And I'll admit that you can't judge a medieval monarch by today's standards...

  • happy

    If the modern reader knows Edward I at all it is probably as the villain of Mel Gibson’s movie, Braveheart. With this biography Prof. Morris attempts to balance the scale. I found this a very well r...

  • Craig

    A very fine book—excellent in many ways, a bit disappointing in others. Morris points out in the preface that most biographies of Edward I are organized thematically, with a chapter devoted to the w...

  • Jamie Collins

    A very readable biography of this Great and Terrible king, even though it’s necessarily remote from the actual human being who lived 700 years ago. Most of what we know about medieval rulers comes f...