Edward III was one of England’s greatest kings…
Drawing on an array of contemporary chroniclers, W. J. Ashley has provided a detailed account of the reign of Edward III from the words of those who experienced it themselves.
Through excerpts of the original manuscripts of Jehan Froissart, Jehan le Bel, Adam of Murimuth, Robert of Avesbury and Henry of Knighton, amongst others, a complete account of life during the reign of the controversial monarch.
First published in 1887, he details the king’s military exploits, ranging from his wars in Scotland against Robert the Bruce and his son to David, to his famous battles against the French at Crecy and Poitiers.
But Ashley relates more than just the king’s military achievements.
Edward III’s political manoeuvrings in the international arena, from his assertion of his claim to the French throne to his appointment as vicar of the Holy Roman Empire, is combined with documents concerning the administration of justice, the role of the clergy and the universities, and of course, the Black Death, which ravaged the country in the middle years of his reign.
Ashley does not attempt to insert his own explanation for events but lets the sources speak for themselves.
The portrait that emerges is that of a wilful, determined monarch, concerned with establishing his authority and asserting his rights both at home and abroad, battling against a range of political forces looking to exploit any sign of weakness.
For anyone interested in learning more about the monarch best known as the man responsible for beginning the Hundred Years War, this well-edited volume is a perfect starting place.