A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain

A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Marc Morris

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  • Publisher: Windmill Books
  • Format: Paperback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 34mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 6 April 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099481758
  • ISBN 13: 9780099481751
  • Illustrations note: 16
  • Sales rank: 23,147

Product description

This is the first major biography for a generation of a truly formidable king. Edward I is familiar to millions as 'Longshanks', conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace ('Braveheart'). Edward was born to rule England, but believed that it was his right to rule all of Britain. His reign was one of the most dramatic of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale, and leaving a legacy of division that has lasted from his day to our own. In his astonishingly action-packed life, Edward defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled across Europe to the Holy Land on crusade; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers, and constructed - at Conwy, Harlech, Beaumaris and Caernarfon - the most magnificent chain of castles ever created. After the death of his first wife he erected the Eleanor Crosses - the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.

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Author information

Marc Morris is an historian and broadcaster. He studied and taught history at the universities of London and Oxford, and his doctorate on the thirteenth-century earls of Norfolk was published in 2005. In 2003 he presented the highly-acclaimed television series Castle, and wrote its accompanying book.

Customer reviews

By Jo Willmott 22 Mar 2014 4

Enjoyed this read - very comprehensively researched and interesting. Many details large and small paint a compelling picture of the man as a creature of his times, not the Braveheart caricature of a simply ruthless monster. A strong and pious character, sure of his divine rights as king and living in dangerous times makes for an extraordinary life compared to many of his predecessors and descendants. I would thoroughly recommend for serious students of medieval history, do not expect a superficial, light read.

Review quote

"Morris tells Edward's story fluently and conveys a compelling sense of the reality, and the contingency, of personal rule... It is on the subject of "the forging of Britain" that Morris is most consistently thought-provoking" Guardian "Marc Morris's new account of the life of Edward I is 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 "This is a direct, forthright and welcoming book... Edward I was called a "great and terrible king" and he has been well served by Marc Morris. He leads us confidently through the litany of battles and conflicts" Scotland on Sunday "A highly readable account of an important reign" Scotsman "Marc Morris has written the first full biography of Edward I for around 100 years, and uncommonly good it is too ... He was a remarkable man, and a great king. Marc Morris does him justice, brings him clearly before our eyes, and, like a true historian, judges him by the standards of his age, not ours. It's compelling stuff" -- Allan Massie Daily Telegraph