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King Stephen (Yale English Monarchs) (The Yale English Monarchs Series) Hardcover – 15 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (15 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300112238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300112238
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 823,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"King has written a masterpiece that reveals how a medieval political community can both consume and then reconstitute itself and offers readers a king emblematic of his truncated, troubled age."--J.P./i>--J.P. Huffman "Choice "

About the Author

Edmund King is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Sheffield, having joined the department in 1966 and holding a chair since 1989. He has held visiting fellowships at the Huntington Library, USA (where he was a Fulbright Scholar), and at All Souls College, Oxford, and has taught also at the universities of Connecticut and Michigan in the USA. He has published widely in the field of Medieval British History, including authoring the illustrated survey Medieval England, and editing The Anarchy of King Stephens Reign, which is one of the most highly regarded books in the field.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Greenland on 28 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edmund King has written a meticulously detailed and a well-researched account of the life of King Stephen. Withe the nineteen year long civil war the main event of the reign, King also gives important assessment to the real powers behind the throne; Stephen's queen Matilda and brother Henry of Winchester, son Eustace, and his civil war enemies; Empress Matilda, her bastard brother Robert of Gloucester and the 'legal heir' to the kingdom, Duke Henry of Normandy who succeeded Stephen as Henry II.

The traditional view of Stephen is that he was an ineffective ruler who failed to pass on his kingdom to his descendants, relinquishing the succession after 19 years of civil war to Henry, Duke of Normandy, the future Henry II, the son of Empress Matilda and grandson of the previous king Henry I.

While King doesn't shy away from Stephen's ultimate failure, he is very sympathetic, concluding that, to his credit, Stephen was a peace-loving king but at the same time appeasement in favour of his enemies did not secure him and his descendants the crown. King writes with John of Worcester's conclusion in mind, that 'Stephen is the king of peace. If only he was the king of firm justice, crushing his enemies under foot.' It was inevitable, as evidenced by the peaceful settlement, even before Stephen's heir Eustace's death, that Duke Henry would succeed.

A valuable book that gives us more flesh and understanding to this period.
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By S. D. Smith on 20 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hard going, but to be expected considering the complexity of this reign.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Bray on 5 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed reading this important biography of a little-known English king. Yale do an excellent job in producing this series.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MR K J PENNEY on 29 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
good biog, many thx
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Derek57 on 23 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't comment on it because it was as a present for someone else, but it arrived quickly and it was well-packaged, so I gave it 5-stars on that basis alone.
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