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War, Politics and Finance: The Reign of Edward I

By Michael Prestwich

Edward I’s long reign from 1272 to 1307 was one of the most significant in British history, from a military, legal and institutional viewpoint.

It saw the establishment of Parliament as a permanent feature of English political life. It saw, too, the conquest of Wales and many hard-fought campaigns in Gascony, Flanders and Scotland – campaigns requiring such a massive provision of men, materials and money that they had a powerful impact upon government and politics, and indeed the whole of society.

In this ground-breaking work, Dr Prestwich offers a radical and extensive re-interpretation of Edward’s reign. Based mainly on the government records that survive, he examines the structure of the English armies, the way the country was mobilized for war, and the way war affected the complete fabric of the realm.

He gives a new assessment of Edward’s ambitious and unscrupulous character, his relations with the magnates, the role of the royal household in war and administration, the financial system, and the legacy of disorder and discontent he left his unfortunate son, Edward II.

War, Politics and Finance: The Reign of Edward I is a classic examination of the monarch and his time, and his influence on British history.

Michael Prestwich studied at Oxford University for his first degree and his doctorate. In the 1990s he served as pro-vice-chancellor, with a range of responsibilities from research to health and safety. He began his own research with work on Edward I, and his publications have concentrated on thirteenth and fourteenth century England in most of its aspects, with a particular emphasis on war and its impact on government and society. He was awarded an OBE in 2010.

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