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Edward II (The English Monarchs)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  37 Ratings  ·  9 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 WeirThe Plantagenets by Dan JonesThe Year 1000 by Robert Lacey
Best Medieval History Books
66th out of 456 books — 194 voters
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel PoolA Distant Mirror by Barbara W. TuchmanThe Wars of the Roses by Alison WeirThe Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanGeorgiana by Amanda Foreman
British History
123rd out of 469 books — 130 voters

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Taylor Kniphfer
Jun 19, 2011 Taylor Kniphfer rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2013 David rated it liked it
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.
Jul 03, 2014 Annalisa rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 30, 2013 Kristina Church milashus rated it it was amazing
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,
Jul 18, 2015 Rj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The past couple of weeks have I have had little of interest to read. I tried Seymour Phillips's Edward II (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), but the book is an academic tome intended for scholars embedded in the research of Edward II written in that really dry manner used by academics. I was inspired to read about Edward II while watching David Starkey's Monarchy series but have found it hard to sink into the text. In the place of interesting books I have been watching a few online episod ...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.
Jun 18, 2013 Niki rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, middle-ages
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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  • Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-made King
  • William Marshal: Knighthood, War and Chivalry, 1147-1219
  • Conquest
  • Richard and John: Kings at War
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France, Queen of England
  • The Hundred Years War: A People's History
  • Empress Matilda: Queen Consort, Queen Mother and Lady of the English
  • Æthelstan: The First King of England
  • Eleanor of Castile
  • King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta
  • The Plantagenet Chronicles 1154-1485: Richard the Lionheart, Richard II, Henry V, Richard III

Other Books in the Series

The English Monarchs (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Æthelstan: The First King of England
  • Edward the Confessor
  • William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England
  • William Rufus
  • Henry I
  • Henry II
  • King Stephen
  • Richard I (English Monarchs)
  • King John
  • Edward I

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