Crusaders and Revolutionaries of the Thirteenth Century (Hardback)
One of the families that dominated the thirteenth century were the de Montforts. They arose in France, in a hamlet close to Paris, and grew to prominence under the crusading fervour of that time, taking them from leadership in the Albigensian wars to lordships around the Mediterranean. They marry into the English aristocracy, join the crusade to the Holy Land, then another crusade in the south of France against the Cathars.
The controversial stewardship of Simon de Montfort (V) in that conflict is explored in depth. It is his son Simon de Montfort (VI) who is perhaps best known. His rebellion against Henry III of England ultimately establishes the first parliamentary state in Europe.
The decline of the family begins with Simon’s defeat and death at Evesham in 1265. Initially they revive their fortunes under the new king of Sicily, but they scandalise Europe with a vengeful political murder. By this time it is the twilight of the crusades era and the remaining de Montforts either perish or are expelled. Eleanor de Montfort, the last Princess of Wales, dies in childbirth and her daughter is raised as a nun.
A fantastic book about the De Montfort family and the rebellion against the monarch Henry III and the eventual decline of the family standing and power. There has been some good deep research put into this book that stands out and covers not just the rebellion against Henry III but also includes great detail about English and French history of that particular time considering this was a time when the countries were going through the period of the Crusades. Whilst this particular part of history isn’t my specialist subject, from what I have read this is a great book and really emphasises the conflict and growth of the family and supporters. An excellent book written by Darren Baker, very well researched and written. A very good book, certainly recommended.UK Historian
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Darren Baker turns in an excellent history of the de Montfort family - everyone has heard of Simon de Montfort and of his attempt to dethrone Henry III. An exemplary look at one of the most dominant aristocratic families in the medieval period.Books Monthly
For anyone interested in studying the 12th and 13th centuries, of the de Montforts in particular, Crusaders and Revolutionaries of the Thirteenth Century: De Montfort would be an invaluable – and essential – addition to their library. It not only works as the study of a medieval family, but as a study of the motivations of medieval barons, both in their religious and military duties – and of the women who support them.HISTORY… THE INTERESTING BITS!
Crusaders and Revolutionaries of the Thirteenth Century: De Montfort is a wonderful study of the entire de Montfort family. Darren Baker provides his usual level of unbiased analysis that allows the reader to make their own decision of the family and its individual members. His research and referencing is impeccable, as I have come to expect, and his extensive use of primary sources provide a unique insight into the de Montfort family.
My review simply cannot do this book justice. What I can say, is that I cannot recommend it highly enough. Crusaders and Revolutionaries of the Thirteenth Century: De Montfort is a wonderful book for anyone interested in medieval history, either for leisure, research or study. The narrative is so eminently readable that you find yourself forgetting it is not a novel, it is so enjoyable.
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