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Chronicles (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 27 Apr 1978


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Chronicles (Penguin Classics) + The Hundred Years War: England and France at War c.1300-c.1450 (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks) + Hundred Years War 1337-1453 (Essential Histories)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (27 April 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140442006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140442007
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jean Froissart was born in Valenciennes (c.1337) and came to England in 1361 where he joined the entourage of Edward III's Queen. While in England he travelled to Scotland and the Welsh Marshes and to the Continent seveal times, finally settling in the Netherlands on the death of the Queen. He finally took holy orders, before returning to England in the court of Richard II, whose downfall he recorded in 1399. His first book of the Chroniques was published in three versions, the second book was completed by 1388 and the third in 1390. He was still working on the fourth when he died c.1410.

Geoffrey Brereton edited and translated several modern dramatists including Claudel, Sartre and Adamov, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He died in 1979.


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First Sentence
IN order that the honourable enterprises, noble adventures and deeds of arms which took place during the wars waged by France and England should be fittingly related and preserved for posterity, so that brave men should be inspired thereby to follow such examples, I wish to place on record these matters of great renown. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kingers44 on 21 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Absolutely essential reading matter for students of the fourteenth century from the undoubted master of medieval prose. By his own admission, Froissart largely plagiarises the earlier chronicle of Jean le Bel in his first two books, but by the time he gets on to the dramatic events of 1381 he is in a league of his own. The masterful speech he gives to John Ball sets the scene for a gripping description of the Peasants' Revolt and his final book on the downfall of Richard II is highly illuminating and contains the wonderful little cameo of Thomas Duke of Gloucester being strangled with his bath towel in Calais; this after Froissart says he doesn't really know what happened to him! Naturally, a lot of what Froissart says can be treated with great suspicion but he remains a great entertainer and a valuable insight into the fourteenth century world. A great shame that there is no comparable figure for the fifteenth century.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By sean fineran on 5 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like the history of the hundred years war between England and France. Then this book has be to included on your book shelf. I first read this book years ago and it has never left me, when i saw it i had to buy it. The book covers not only the military struggles, but also gives you a unique insight into the people. Written by a man who was there at the time, and by interviews with people who witnessed these struggles first hand. Although some of it has to be taken with a pinch of salt it is still a truly enjoyable read, to the serious history student, or just someone who is interested in this particular period.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kendall on 30 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
Jean Froissart (1337-1410) was a contemporary of Chaucer's (it is likely that they met on several occasions, but there is no evidence they were friends. Chaucer is often cited as the leading poet of the 14th Century and Froissart its ranking historian. Geoffry Brereton does an excellent job of rendering an abridged translation of Froissart's multi-volume work. Using the same method employed in the one-volume Penguin edition of Gibbon , many sections of the original text, covering relatively minor events and battles, are rendered in precis form. What we get therefor, is essentially "the best" of Froissart. Brereton also does a good job of providing just the right amount of footnotes and warns the reader when Froissart's account veers from more reliable sources. Froissart was gathering most of his information second-hand, primarily from noblemen of the era who were witnesses to the events, but whose viewpoints may have been colored to some degree by natural biases, and were sometimes themselves reporting information from what they had heard, not necessarily what they had seen.
Froissart delivers a marvelous panorama of a fascinating era. He tells his story from the perspective of the nobility, to whose households he attached himself. He traveled from castle to castle, through several regions of France, Flanders and England, adding to his chronicles as he went. This was a turbulent period, covering a large stretch of the Hundred Year War (between France and England primarily). It begins with the deposition of Edward the II (unforgettably dramatized by Marlowe) and ends with the deposition of Richard II (likewise, by Shakespeare). Sandwiched between these bookends are some of the most unforgettable scenes in written history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BRUCE CAMERON-REITH on 10 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exactly as I wanted, and delivered quickly. I am still reading it, and find it fascinating,
and am speaking to my friends aboy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Threadle on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoying re-reading this old friend - the copy was in good condition and received promptly. Useful for background to to the times
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