A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain Hardcover – 6 Mar 2008
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'A direct, forthright and welcoming book... Edward I was called a "great and terrible king" and he has been well served by Marc Morris' -- Scotland on Sunday
'A highly readable account of an important reign' -- Scotsman
'A splendid example of the genre. Edward's life is in many ways an ideal subject for such an approach, full of incident and action... An excellent, readable account of his reign'
-- Literary Review
'Historical biography's newest star'
'The title of Marc Morris' book is apt. No king of England had a greater impact on the peoples of Britain than Edward I... he has succeeded in writing a book for today'
'Uncommonly good ... He was a remarkable man, and a great king. Marc Morris does him justice, brings him clearly before our eyes ... It's compelling stuff'
-- Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph
I enjoyed A Great and Terrible King
-- Robert Salisbury, Books of the Year, Spectator
Morris tells Edward's story fluently and conveys a compelling sense of the reality, and the contingency, of personal rule -- Guardian
The first popular biography of Edward I in a generation by a major new historian. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a great book for anyone that is interested in the history of Britain. I have read many 'history' books that assume the reader has an in-depth knowledge of the subject before they begin, but happily this is not the case. All of the events are explained in a full, interesting and (on the whole) entertaining way. As the book is written in a very personal style you really get the feeling of riding alongside Edward for all of his 68 years, however this is no way undermines the tremendous amount of work that has obviously gone into writing it.
Most of us know of Robert Bruce, William Wallace, Simon de Montfort and have heard about the 'confiscation' of the Stone of Scone, and the origins of the Prince of Wales title, but this book explains the 'whys', 'hows' and 'whens' that makes history real.
If I had one complaint, (and it's so small that the book still gets Five stars), it's that you get the feeling that Marc Morris is sometimes over-justifying Edwards decisions. Yes, the things he did were not always 'PC' but, and as Mr Morris does quantify at the end of the book, he was a bigotted king in a bigotted time.
That aside, this is a great book for the serious student, the history lover and anyone else that enjoys expanding their knowledge of such an important time in history.
However, he showed relatively little interest in the laws attributed to him, they were more in the way of concessions granted in return for money to prosecute his wars. And of course, he was also our most frightening monarch bar Henry VIII.
I bought this book 'on spec' hoping to rediscover a period of history that I learned about at school but had long-since forgotten. I expected King Edward's story to be rather prosaic after the political machinations and intrigues described in Alison Weir's Lancaster And York: The Wars of the Roses and Thomas Penn's Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England, but I was delighted to discover otherwise. Edward's life was an astonishingly eventful one, both before and after he became king, and involved political intrigues at least as complex as those of later reigns.
Marc Morris tells the story in a compelling style that draws one through the book without respite. However the story is about a lot more than King Edward: it also tells much about the histories and cultures of Wales and Scotland and their interactions with the English. Indeed, Edward's reign was pivotal in intensifying the strained relationships that still exist between England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, though this was by no means entirely due to Edward's belligerence or intent.
Amongst of the book's more memorable pages are the ones that tell the story behind the legend of King Arthur and which incorporate a hypothesis that gives them political significance in relation to the Welsh rebellions during Edward's reign.
It seems petty to criticize such a magnificent book, but were to do so I would say only that I found myself losing track of time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I occasionally lecture on the heraldry of the Plantagenets and the Round Table, and this excellent and thorough account will necessitate a lot of revisions!Published 1 month ago by A. C. G. Gray
Very informative, and very well documented/referenced to original records. Couldn't help reflecting on the cruelty of the times and the sufferings caused through Edward I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by wurzel
Took a bit of getting into but well worth the patience. Excellently written book on the 'Hammer of the Scots'.Published 1 month ago by oracle
An easily read version of an interesting king's life. However, no acknowledgement is given to the fact that the majority of sources are sure to have been influenced by the royal... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. W. Bailie
Generally the book is lively and well-informed; writing ability in English is moderate. I had to deduct one star because of two serious faults: one is the occasional garbling of a... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Giles Penfold
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