A new book on Henry VII is a major event. The last full-length study of the king and his reign, by S. B. Chrimes, was written in 1972, in a very different historiographical world. At that time, the explosion of interest in later-medieval history was still in its infancy, and the decades after 1485 were seen mainly through the lens of the 'Tudor Revolution in Government'.
This impressive study examines the consequences for land tenure in England of William of Normandy's conquest of the country, glossed by his claim to have succeeded to the throne by the bequest of King Edward. Yet he believed, in line with French practice, that he became king at the moment of consecration, after which he could legitimately grant lands to his followers.
Anglo-Jewish history is a growing and arguably important field within the mainstream of British history, although probably much more for what never happened than for what did. The Jews were present in numbers in Medieval England, as money-lenders and tax collectors. The violent and tragic history of this community, and their expulsion in 1290, are well-known.
The heart of City Government from its establishment in the 12th century until the present-day, the Guildhall of the City of London remains perhaps our best link with the medieval city. This extensive history is, for the first time, considered in its entirety in this volume, an archaeological history of its site from the earliest post-Roman occupation until the present day.
Most famously, Aristotle declared that men are by nature political. It’s chancy, of course, to take on the genius of Stagirus, but he did manage to get it wrong once in a very long while (oh, to be so wrong so infrequently!). Chaucer, however, may have had it more accurately (and certainly did so as he anticipated our digital age) when he argued that men by nature ‘love newfangledness’.
Glenn Richardson’s latest contribution to early modern Anglo-French relations comes in the form of this edited volume covering nearly three centuries of contact between England and France from 1420 to 1700. The Contending Kingdoms is essentially the proceedings of a Society for Court Studies conference which took place in London in November 2004.
The Blackwell Companions to British History enjoy a reputation for quality of scholarship, clarity of text and range.
Medieval and early modern literature is full of magic. Invisibility rings, magicians, damsels with healing potions, love potions and many more characters and devices add colour and glamour to the stories, as well as moving the plots in interesting directions. There are also a growing number of recent studies that focus explicitly on the role of magic in these literary works.
This important and stimulating study of the rural credit market in later medieval England, which originated as a Cambridge PhD thesis, is a carefully and thematically structured book with six chapters, each containing between four and six subchapters in addition to the conclusion and two extensive and useful appendices.
During the medieval period the Benedictine abbeys of Westminster and Saint-Denis were major centres of religion, politics and power, while serving as the site of royal shrines and burials.