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Edward, Prince of Wales and Aquitaine: A Biography of the Black Prince Paperback – 21 Feb 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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  • The Life and Campaigns of the Black Prince: from contemporary letters, diaries and chronicles, including Chandos Herald's Life of the Black Prince
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Product details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Boydell Press; New edition edition (21 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085115686X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851156866
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 528,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Barber is one of Britain's leading authorities on medieval history and the author of "The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe" and "The Knight and Chivalry".


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Barber's book is a highly readable historical biography of a much romanticised figure. Edward "The Black Prince" (as he subsequently became known) was the son of Edward III of England and a hero of the Hundred Years War. Much of the book, however, is devoted to the more personal details of the Prince, such as the increasing responsiblities he was given as a child, and that as an infant he kept pet hares. It is this intimacy which brings the book to life, and which also makes it an accessible introduction to both the Hundred Years War and the the ruling elite of the time.
Barber quotes enough sources to give his assertions credibility without getting bogged down in arguing finer points. In this, the book is ideal for someone like myself with a serious interest in medieval history without an academic background in it. However, in remaining readable to the lay person the book has probably left itself open to criticism from pedantics. Some military historians, for example, may be sceptical of the detail in which the battles are described. Readers of fantasy fiction, though, would be a lot more dissapointed than that- this is still a serious history book.
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This book has been accused of being too 'simplistic' and narrative based, because it doesn't dwell on details of military strategy etc. I think this is because Barber is concerned with keeping the reader interested at all times. This he certainly achieves, making for a very easy read. After reading David Green's book 'The Black Prince' however, I saw that Barber wasn't as great as I had at first thought.
Basically, if you're not a historian (or crazy about military details) then you will find nothing wrong with this book and simply enjoy reading it. The other thing it does well is teach a huge amount very quickly and easily - so if you're a student this is the one to read first!
4 stars because it's not the best, but it doesn't get a great deal better.
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Format: Paperback
Richard Barber's book on Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales was a great read for me. I had read much on the Prince and his father, but this was by far the best biography I've ever read on him. Barber's accounts of the battles of Crecy, Poitiers, and Najera were very imformative. This was a great portrait of a remarkable legend.

First off is Frossiat. Barber didn't pay much attention to Frossiat's great chronicles of King Edward III and his reign. I have a very mixed view of Frossiat: sometimes he is true, sometimes he was very untrue, but I think Barber did the right thing. He paid only as much attention to Frossiat as he needed to.

The battles were very descriptive. Barber gave us a detailed account of how fourteenth century medieval armies moved and were organized. He also descriped the battle in great detail. Crecy was very well recorded, but my favorite battle in the book was Poitiers. I had read enough of Crecy, and I had a medium knowledge of Poitiers, I was still fascinated by the French in the battle and how they abandoned their own king to his fate on the field. The consquences of the battle were very far reaching: the capture of the King of France was a huge card for Edward III and he ended up playing it very well.

I loved this book. Five stars all the way.
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Format: Paperback
Prince Edward, Prince of Wales and Aquitaine, generally known as the Black Prince, is one of the legendary figures of English history who has gone down in history as the victor of three great battles and a model of chivalry and courtesy. In 1337, Edward became the first Duke to be created in England when he was given the title Duke of Cornwall. His title as Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Chester are still the traditional titles of the heir apparent.
The badge of three feathers of the PoW is thought to have originated with Edward. According to legend, the Black Prince obtained the arms from the blind John I of Bohemia, against whom he fought in the Battle of Crécy in 1346. After the battle, the prince went to the body of the dead king (whom he admired for his bravery) and took his helmet, lined with ostrich feathers. The feathers and the dead king's motto made up the prince's new badge and came to be used by subsequent Princes of Wales. The origin of both the feathers and the motto may have a less romantic history, with indications that the arms were inherited by the prince from his father. Although Edward is almost always now called the "Black Prince", there is no record of this name being used during his lifetime. He was instead known as Edward of Woodstock, after his place of birth. The "Black Prince" sobriquet "is first found in writing in Richard Grafton's "Chronicle of England" (1568.). Its origin is uncertain; according to tradition, it derived from an ornate black cuirass (piece of body armour) presented to the young prince by Edward III at the battle of Crécy. Although another theory attributes it to his dark temper.

So who is the man behind the hero-like figure? Does legend and reality match? It is not easy to get to the real Prince Edward.
Read more ›
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