Medieval Intrigue : Decoding Royal Conspiracies
In this important new work Ian Mortimer examines some of the most controversial questions in medieval history, including whether Edward II was murdered, his possible later life in Italy, the weakness of the Lancastrian claim to the throne in 1399 and the origins of the idea of the royal pretender. Central to this book is his ground-breaking approach to medieval evidence. He explains how an information-based method allows a more certain reading of a series of texts. He criticises existing modes of arriving at consensus and outlines a process of historical analysis that ultimately leads to questioning historical doubts as well as historical facts, with profound implications for what we can say about the past with certainty. This is an important work from one of the most original and popular medieval historians writing today.
- Paperback | 400 pages
- 157.48 x 233.68 x 25.4mm | 598.74g
- 12 Apr 2012
- Continuum Publishing Corporation
- New York, United States
Table of contents
Acknowledgements / Abbreviations / Introduction / 1. Objectivity and information: a methodological introduction / 2. Sermons of Sodomy: a reconsideration of Edward II's sodomitical reputation / 3. The Death of Edward II in Berkeley Castle / 4. Twelve angry scholars: reactions to 'The death of Edward II' / 5. The Plot of the earl of Kent, 1328-30 / 6. Edward III, his father and the Fieschi / 7. Edward III and the moneylenders / 8. Richard II and the succession to the Crown / 9. The rules governing succession to the Crown, 1199-1399 / 10. Regnal legitimacy and the concept of the royal pretender / 11. Concluding remarks / Full titles of works cited in the notes / Index
'[Mortimer] revisits the methodology of medieval history, analysing numerous key historical texts in a new way to shed a refreshing light on the facts.' -- Your Family Tree 'Ian Mortimer has earned a well-deserved reputation as a writer capable of communicating the fascination of medieval history ... His speciality is the peculiar and the personal: the hidden springs by which the actions of the past were moved ... he still has much to communicate about his explorations of the forgotten corners of Medieval England.' -- Bbc History Magazine 'His [Mortimer's] experimental and challenging approach finds fertile ground in the intricacies and mysteries of court faction, noble rebellion and royal intrigue.' -- Good Book Guide 'It is good that Mortimer is trying to come up with answers and his book provides much food for thought. There is a fine mind at work here.' -- The Catholic Herald Dr Mortimer is well known as a medieval historian who can present his period in a way to make it understandable and attractive to a laymen as well as to academics... While several of the chapters have already been published it is good to have Dr Mortimer's works in this field in one volume: no historian, school of thought or era has a monopoly in the writing of history as this collection shows. -- Contemporary Review Author article in BBC History Magazine, Vol. 13, no.3.
About Ian Mortimer
Ian Mortimer is the author of the bestselling The Time-Traveller's Guide to Medieval England. He holds BA, PhD and DLitt degrees from the University of Exeter and an MA in archive studies from UCL. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (by whom he was awarded the Alexander Prize in 2004), and has worked for the Historical Manuscripts Commission and the universities of Exeter and Reading. Among his other publications are a series of four interlinked historical biographies collectively covering English politics 1300-1415 and a revolutionary study of medicine in seventeenth-century England.