The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation

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Random House, 2008 - Great Britain - 536 pages
5 Reviews
King for fifty years (1327--77), Edward III changed the face of England.
He ordered his uncle to be beheaded; he usurped his father's throne; he started a war which lasted for more than a hundred years, and taxed his people more than any other previous king. Yet for centuries, Edward III was celebrated as the most brilliant king England had ever had.
In this first full study of the man, Ian Mortimer shows how Edward personally provided the impetus for much of the drama of his reign. Edward overcame the tyranny of his guardians at the age of seventeen and then set about developing a new form of awe-inspiring chivalric kingship. Under him the feudal kingdom of England became a highly organized, sophisticated nation, capable of raising large revenues and, without question, the most important military nation in Europe. Yet under his rule England also experienced its longest period of domestic peace in the Middle Ages, giving rise to a massive increase in the nation's wealth through the wool trade, with huge consequences for society, art and architecture. It is to Edward that England owes its system of parliamentary representation, local justice system and the English language as "the tongue of the nation."
As the King who re-made England and forged a nation out of war, Edward III emerges as the father of the English nation.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - literarytech - LibraryThing

Brilliant. Well written. Mortimer has a gift for depicting battle scenes with rich context and excitement. His research concerning Edward II and the implications to our understanding of his son, Edward III provide both interest and enlightenment. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - zen_923 - LibraryThing

Well-written and very informative. However, the author's attempt to defend his theory that Edward II was not yet dead when Edward III became king was a bit distracting. I also don't like how he would ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Dr Ian Mortimer is the author of the bestselling Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England and Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, eight other books and many peer-reviewed articles on English history between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) for his work on the social history of medicine in seventeenth-century England. In June 2011, the University of Exeter awarded him a higher doctorate (D.Litt.) by examination, on the strength of his historical work. He also writes historical fiction, published under his middle names (James Forrester). He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon. For further information about him and a full bibliography, see his website: www.ianmortimer.com.

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