In Search of The Once and Future King: Attack of the Prequels
As far as Arthurian literature was concerned, the fourteenth century was a time of spinoffs and magic, of original characters and adventure; and the greatest of these tales was Perceforest.
In Search of the Once and Future King: The Soul of Chivalry
Edward III, fastidiously adorned in the trappings and iconography of the Arthurian romances and a near-universally celebrated aristocratic cult of chivalry, cut an undeniable dashing figure at the feast table or upon the battlefield, even as his armies cut down dashing figures across France.
In Search of the Once and Future King: Arthur and Edward I
King Edward I of England found not only a role model but a political tool every bit as puissant as the legendary king himself.
What was a (royal) bastard good for, anyways?
As we have explored throughout this series that family was of paramount importance to the twelfth century English aristocracy.
Like Father, Like Illegitimate Son: Henry II and William Longespée on Monastic Patronage
Henry II now enjoys a reputation as a committed and reasonably prolific founder and serial patroniser of monasteries. He was also engaged in another widespread, not to mention potentially politically advantageous aristocratic activity – the siring of illegitimate children.
Geoffrey: the Prodigal Son of Henry II
Geoffrey’s devotion to Henry II and the favored status which saw him rise high in his father’s reign
William Longespée: The Tyrant’s Enforcer
Born sometime around the mid 1170s, William Longespée was the son of King Henry II and the most aristocratic and well connected of his known mistresses, Ida de Tosny.
Hamelin de Warenne: The Devoted Black Sheep
Hamelin is something of an anomaly, being the only illegitimate royal family member raised to an earldom during the twelfth century who was not the son of a king.
Bastards and The Anarchy
Taking advantage of the confusion and division created by the inheritance crisis following the death of Henry I, his nephew Stephen seized the throne
Robert of Gloucester: The Almost-King of England
The father of Henry I could become the King of England despite his illegitimate birth. Why couldn’t Henry’s eldest son do the same?
Robert of Gloucester: The King’s Son Ascendant
If many Anglo-Norman and Angevin royal bastards during the 12th century could be said to be have had good fortunes, then Henry I’s eldest illegitimate child, Earl Robert of Gloucester, spent most of his lifetime rising on the wheel.
The White Ship Disaster
The sinking of the White Ship in 1120 had far reaching repercussions for the Anglo-Norman hegemony, sparking a succession crisis and sowing the seeds of three decades of dynastic strife between the Conqueror’s grandchildren.
Juliana: The Rebel Daughter of Henry I
Henry I’s daughter Juliana was, as far as history records, the only one who ever tried to kill the king having shot a crossbow at him in 1119.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Warwick Castle
Raised amidst the settling dust of the Norman Conquest, the traditional seat of the Earldom of Warwick has continually throughout its millennia long and oft glorious history fundamentally reinvented itself, making it the Madonna of medieval military architecture.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Windsor Castle
At one time the greatest palace complex in Europe and a favoured haunt of the British Royal family to this day, Windsor Castle is a still living relic of a time where out of necessity, the sum of a nation’s sovereignty and a State’s very existence as a politically distinct identity rested upon a crowned head.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Edinburgh Castle
Few indeed are those architectural legacies still remaining to us that can boast the iconic status of Edinburgh Castle, its distinctive silhouette known throughout the world, accompanied by the gently wafting of bagpipes. Far rarer still are those structures with a comparably singular influence upon the shaping of a nation.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Bamburgh Castle
Windswept and interesting, the spectacle of the venerable old man of Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle, cannot help but stoke the imagination.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Dover Castle
Resolute and vigilant, Dover Castle yet stands guard above its ancient charge, the port of Dover. Of all the facets and functions that the castle performed in medieval society, Dover personifies its most commonly remembered and perhaps fundamental aspect, as a stronghold and place of security.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Pembroke Castle
While Caernarvon was the ultimate manifestation of Anglo-Norman occupied Wales wrought into stone and mortar, Pembroke was its beating heart. Today ensconced upon a spur of rock, the Cleddau estuary flowing gently by, Pembroke Castle stands still, its long shadow silent and serene.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle is intimately entwined with the history of Scotland and her monarchy, a significance which is recognized and presented throughout its numerous components with admirable vigour.
Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Caernarfon Castle
Perhaps more than any other castle found within the British Isles, Caernarfon embodies that most terrifying of a castles aspects; a tool for the aggressive and utter domination of territory.