Edward II
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Edward II (The English Monarchs)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Edward II (1284–1327), King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine, was the object of ignominy during his lifetime and calumny since it. Conventionally viewed as worthless, incapable of sustained policy, and significant only for his sporadic displays of ill-directed energy or a stubborn adherence to greedy and ambitious favorites, he has been presented as fit o...more
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Yale University Press (first published May 18th 2010)
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A Distant Mirror by Barbara W. TuchmanThe Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian MortimerEleanor of Aquitaine by Alison WeirA World Lit Only by Fire by William R. Manchester1453 by Roger Crowley
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73rd out of 383 books — 97 voters

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Taylor Kniphfer
This book was the best account I have ever read on the life and reign of Edward II. I found it a very narrative, informative, and very readable account of the king. Though I disagree with Phillip's statement that Edward died in Berkeley Castle on September 21, 1327 (I suscribe to Ian Mortimer's account of what happened to Edward II). Other than that, a excellent book worthy to be on any history shelf. I think Edward II himself would be proud of this book.
A fine and well written book. The level of research coupled with Mr Phillips's obvious depth of knowledge and understanding for his subject and the period makes for a readable and detailed study. There are numerous footnotes and a rich bibliography to support this too.

My only - and it is a minor complaint - is as a lay reader I would have benefited from some family trees for the principal characters and/or perhaps some brief biographical details of the key players outside of the direct royal fam...more
The four star rating is actually an average, because I think this book is either 3 or 5 stars, depending on the type of reader you are.

If you are a historian or someone who loves historical detail, this is clearly a five star work. There is not a piece of evidence Phillips does not uncover and consider. He is remarkable thoughtful in his evaluation of various ambiguities--was Edward II a homosexual (or bisexual)? Was he murdered or did he die of natural causes? Was he terrible king or merely an...more
Apr 10, 2010 Susan marked it as to-read
Just got this today and am already enjoying looking up things in the index!
Kristina Church milashus
Fantastic look at the life and reign of Edward II. Mr. Phillip's research is obvious from the primary sources listed at the end of each chapter (and which make up a bulk of the book). This look at Edward II is very non-biased and relies on known facts. Mr. Phillips does add his thoughts and theories about certain events, but also balances this with commentary from other E2 historians with opposing viewpoints.

The text took a bit to get used to - the book is arranged chronologically and by event,...more
Lauren Albert
Solid if dry biography of Edward II which attempts to reconsider some of the "common knowledge" about Edward and his reign. It is very much an academic biography--some pages are more than 1/2 taken up with footnotes.
Still not finished this book, but my feeling is that it is impressively comprehensive but really lacks analsyis, since when you do come across an interesting view point it rather stands out. So basically, meh.
Excellent biography of Edward. This book is a good counterweight to Alison Weir's somewhat partisan book about Isabella. Thoroughly researched and, in general, fairly engagingly written.
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John Roland Seymour Phillips, after a long teachng career was made Professor emeritus at University College Dublin.
More about J.R.S. Phillips...
The Medieval Expansion of Europe Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, 1307-1324: Baronial Politics in the Reign of Edward II The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, 1275-1504: IV: Edward III. 1327-1348 The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, 1275-1504: III: Edward II. 1307-1327 Justices of the Peace in Wales and Monmouthshire, 1541-1689

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