By Roy Rosenzweig

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His lack of engagement with his daily duties in his last years created a serious problem for a realm and government which depended on the king as the ultimate source of all authority. More than a decade before his death Edward had declined the king of Cyprus’s urgent invitation to join his crusade against the Mamluk Turks on the grounds, he said then, that ‘I am too old. 11 He might have hoped that his offspring would also help him bear the burden of kingship in his declining years: there were, after all, plenty of them.

Despite his taking part in numerous military expeditions, his leadership was in name only and he was never entrusted with sole command. Described by Froissart as ‘indolent, guileless, and peaceable’, Edmund had accepted the choice of bride dictated by his brother’s Castilian ambitions even though this deprived him of the opportunity to make a financially advantageous marriage as Gaunt himself had done. 18 The same was also true of Edward III’s youngest son, Thomas of Woodstock. He was born more than thirteen years after Edmund, and his father had intended to provide for him by marrying him to Eleanor de Bohun, the elder daughter and co-heiress of the earl of Hereford, in 1374.

Maps by John Gilkes All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher. uk For James, Edward and Sophie CONTENTS Also by Juliet Barker Copyright Dedication Preface A Note to the Text 1. The end of an era 2. The state of the nation 3. Landlords and tenants 4.

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An Oral Historians’ Work [review] by Roy Rosenzweig

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