King Edward III of England, A Short Biography

Edward III of England and the Hundred Years' War
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But may be part of the problem was the system. Hereditary monarchies that also exclude the female line, and in particular in a time before antibiotics and when pests could spread at the speed of the wind, have a very low success expectancy. And in this poor Edward reminds me of the poor Catholic Kings of Spain.

Edward III of England

Edward was born at Windsor Castle on 13 November , and was king's exclusive patronage of a small group of royal favourites. Edward III, king of England from to , who led England into the Hundred Edward III. Quick Facts. Edward III, watercolour, 15th century; in the British.

All their military, political, economic work could be undone by sheer bad luck with their children. Even though Edward had twelve children out of his happy marriage to Philippa of Hainault, none of them could directly succeed him to the throne. As Mortimer has set himself to restore the 19C vision and has focused on examining the extent to which Edward succeeded in approaching his goal of Perfection, Mortimer seems to be a bit too taken over by the task.

This notion he defended in an earlier book The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England , but is developed again here and supplemented by one of the various Appendixes with more historical data. This reading then did succeed in drawing some sort of individualized features of this medieval actor. The strength of the text can be covered with the visual appearance of of medieval illuminations. View all 27 comments. Jan 24, Tony Johnston rated it really liked it. Very good but one big flaw for me that stopped the 5 stars.

It is well written; lucid, logical and engaging. As a book on the life of a King, it is certainly not social history but then unlike some, I have time for both.

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A bit of King and a bit of dirt in equal measure does me fine. The subject himself is rather impressive. Edward 1 is still my favourite warrior King but his grandson certainly gives him a run for his Italian lucre; he even founded the whole Honi Soit qui mal y pense thing which i Very good but one big flaw for me that stopped the 5 stars.

Edward 1 is still my favourite warrior King but his grandson certainly gives him a run for his Italian lucre; he even founded the whole Honi Soit qui mal y pense thing which is something Gramps and Great-Gramps would have loved. I don't like violence as a rule or even at all but you have to admire the sheer energy of these guys. A typical Edward 3 week-planner seems to be: Monday: Execute one or half a dozen of my enemies.


Tuesday: Defeat French on land Wednesday: Build Big Castle Thursday: Make new laws Pillage in the afternoon, weather permitting Friday: Defeat French at sea Saturday: Chase Scots or Irish if Scots are away around Sunday: Pilgrimage to atone for sins just assuming there are some ;- Apparently, it is labelled for the "non-academic"; having read academic and non-academic history books this usually primarily means "easier to read".

Of course, it could also mean that it has a narrative rather than a theme-based approach but this to me would seem like a peculiar way to decide on the academic merits of a work. It could also mean "this guy does not work for a respected academic institution"; once again this would seem like a form of the argument "you are wrong because of who you are not what you say". It could just be snobbery. Given that this book is clearly well-researched, has caused debate among academics and includes copious notes and primary source material then if I were the author then I would certainly be irritated by the label.

So my problem? All that defensive stuff about Edward 11 not dying. I mean, I don't say he didn't survive but the author needs to make his point and move on rather than getting so worked up on it. Also, given that it is hard to know for sure; perhaps a little room for argument the other way? It is a more rational stance. It's rather like the like the American stint in Martin Chuzzlewit; ruins an otherwise very pleasant read. View 1 comment.


The truce with mediated by Philippe's sister who was also Edward's mother-in-law. I confess to not knowing much about Edward before reading this book, my knowledge extending mainly to his famous son, John of Gaunt, grandchildren, the future kings, Richard II and Henry IV, and his much-maligned mistress, Alice Perrers. Philip VI r. This reading then did succeed in drawing some sort of individualized features of this medieval actor. Spain had signed a naval treaty with France and a fleet of Spanish galleys sailed past France and up the English Channel attacking English ships as it went.

Jul 30, happy rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , history-english. Mortimer has once again written an excellent account of a figure in Medieval Britain. In his preface Dr. Mortimer gives a scathing attack on the three major biographies of Edward written in the Victorian era. Mortimer point of view is that you have to judge a historical figure by the societal norms of his day not yours.

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The rest of the narrative goes on to explain why he was a great king by the standards of HIS day and how close he came to being a perfect king by those standards. The author really starts the narrative by looking the relationship between Edward and his father, Edward II and the role he played in the struggle between his father and his father's wife and queen, Isabella of France. The author spends considerable pages, including a fairly lengthy appendix, explaining why he thinks that Edward II escaped and fled to the Continent dying sometime after The author then turns his attention to how and why Edward took power from Mortimer in and the results.

After assuming power Edward secures the northern border with Scotland, defeating the Scots twice in major battles and at the same perfecting the tactics that would become famous in his wars with the French some 10 yrs later. In looking at Edward the warrior, the author makes a case that he was maybe the greatest commander of his age.

In my opinion he was probably the best tactician and a very good strategist. His reputation was also helped in his choice of enemies. The French nobility was steeped in the Chivalric Traditions a play right into his hands.

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In exploring the causes of the yrs War, Dr. Mortimer looks at Edwards claim to the French throne and the reasons he decided to press the claim at that time. As a result of this, Edward decided he has a better claim to the crown than Philip and went to war. Mortimer's opinion seems to be is that the war was a negotiating ploy and what Edward really wanted was his French possessions outright with out any feudal obligations to the French throne. In addition to his accomplishments as a warrior, the author looks at Edwards accomplishments as a builder.

Edward III Facts

He cites many building projects undertaken during his reign, unfortunately very few remain. According to Dr. Mortimer, the greatest of his building projects was his castle at Queensborough down stream from London. The author feels this castle was every bit as impressive as his grandfather's Welch castles and was one the first to be build with artillery in mind.

Unfortunately the castle was raised during the Civil Wars of the s and only the foundations remain.

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At the same time Queensborough was being build, Edward also rebuilt the interior of Windsor Castle, again not much of this remains. The author feels that his relationship with the elected representatives set the pattern for all of the monarchs that have succeeded him. Other topics explore include the effects of the Black Death on both the country and Edward personally. His relationship with the Papacy is also explored.

To say it was uneasy is to put it mildly. Another topic explored is the founding of the Chivalric Order of the Garter and the effect it had on Chivalric orders founded in other countries. Finally the author looks at his relationship with the women in his life. The main relationship was with his queen - Philippa of Hainault. While this was an arranged marriage, like most noble marriages of the era, the two seemed to have cared for each other. Phillipa and Edward had 13 children, 9 of which reached adulthood including 5 sons — setting the stage for what would become the Wars of the Roses.

As Phillipa aged and sickened, the King took a mistress, Alice Perrers. His relationship with her and maybe more importantly her relationship with the nobility is also explored. All in all I found this a fascinating look at a King whose goal it was to be a perfect King. By his lights and standards I think he came pretty close. If GR allowed this would be a 4. The main fault I have with it is the amount of pages Dr. Mortimer spends on the death of Edward II View all 6 comments. Nov 10, Susanna - Censored by GoodReads rated it it was amazing. Covers not only Edward as the great warrior king the "lion" abroad but as a ruler at home the "lamb" to his subjects , and also his great building projects - he had hot and cold running water in his bathroom - and his fascination with the new inventions, like clocks.