on 22 April 2002
This book clearly establishes the main themes of 14th-century English history: war abroad, the monarch's constant need to pay for war, the consequent involvement of parliament in matters of taxation and representation, and the economic upheaval provoked by the Black Death. Edward III himself is rather an elusive character, though he appears - at least until the end of his reign - to have commanded wide respect among his barons, gentry and higher clergy for trying to govern as far as possible with their consent. Certainly, compared with his shamefully incompetent predecessor, he comes across as a successful king. More quotations from original sources might have been helpful to give some of the flavour of the period.