EDWARD II THE MAN: A Doomed InheritanceSTEPHEN SPINKS Book Number: 86747 Product format: Hardback
Edward II lived in the shadow of Titans. His 20 year reign is wedged between those of his infinitely more successful father Edward I and his son Edward III, reigning for 35 and 50 years respectively. Edward II is one of the most controversial kings of English history and on numerous occasions he brought England to the brink of civil war. The author argues that Edward and the later murdered Piers Gaveston were lovers, not merely 'brothers-in-arms'. Influenced by successive royal favourites and with a desire for personal vengeance, his rule became highly polarised and unstable. His own wife took a lover and invaded his kingdom resulting in his forced abdication, the first in British history. Edward's prevailing legacy remains the warning that all kings can fall from power. And yet war, debt and baronial oppression before 1307 ensured that Edward II inherited a toxic legacy than any successor would have found impossible to wrestle with. Spinks explores that legacy using contemporary and later sources and focusses on Edward's early years exploring the conflicting influences of those around him. He shows the human side of this tale against a backdrop of political intrigues and ideals. Edward's belief in his unchallengeable right to rule, increasingly at odds with those at his court, and his undeniable thirst for revenge creates a 14th century tragedy on a grand scale. This may be the angle to his story that we have never heard before. A lively and clear narrative history, 287pp, 16 pages of colour images and family trees.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £7.00