"Divided Houses" is a tale of contrasting fortunes. In the last decade of his reign Edward III, a senile, pathetic symbol of England's past conquests, was condemned to see them overrun by the armies of his enemies. When he died, in 1377, he was succeeded by a vulnerable child, who was destined to grow into a neurotic and unstable adult presiding over a divided nation. Meanwhile France entered upon one of the most glittering periods of her medieval history, years of power and ceremony, astonishing artistic creativity and famous warriors making their reputations as far afield as Naples, Hungary and North Africa.Contemporaries in both countries believed that they were living through memorable times: times of great wickedness and great achievement, of collective mediocrity but intense personal heroism, of extremes of wealth and poverty, fortune and failure. At a distance of six centuries, as Jonathan Sumption skilfully and meticulously shows, it is possible to agree with all of these judgments.
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Jonathan Sumption is a former History Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the author of Pilgrimage and The Albigensian Crusade, as well as the two previous volumes in his celebrated history of the Hundred Years War - Trial by Battle and Trial by Fire. He is also a practicing QC, well-known for his defence of the Government before the Hutton Inquiry, and other high-profile cases before the courts.Review:
"There is no other book which tells the story of this phase of the war so fluently or in such absorbing detail, or which conveys so graphically 'the savagery, the utter savagery,' to say nothing of the sheer pointlessness, of it all. Divided Houses is a compelling, sustained exercise in original research: all in all, a remarkable achievement."—TLS
"Jonathan Sumption is not only one of Britain's leading lawyers but also an outstanding medieval historian, and in Divided Houses he has produced the third volume of his definitive history of the Hundred Years War, an enthralling account of English decay and French resurgence, which should be essential reading for Eurosceptics—and saner people, too."—David Cannadine, TLS
"In Divided Houses, the third volume of his history of the Hundred years War, Jonathan Sumption marches on magisterially as the French and English (nothing 'British' about them) slog it out for the European heavyweight crown in one of the longest contests of all time."—Frederic Raphael, TLS
"This splendid history of the Hundred Years War belongs in any collection on late medieval western Europe. Recommended without reservation. Essential."—Choice
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