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1977. A History of England from Edward II to James I

Goodman, Anthony. 'A History of England from Edward II to James I', first published in 1977 in Great Britain in hardback with dustjacket, 467pp, ISBN 058248281X. Condition: Very good, with very good dustjacket - clean & tidy, but with slight tanning to internal pages and previous owner's name just inside the front cover. Small patch of surface loss just inside front cover (probably from removal of a sticker or bookplate -hardly noticeable). Price: £3.99, not including p&p, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.75 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1978, 2nd printing, Longman, hbk
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About this book/synopsis: In selecting the period between the reigns of Edward II and James I for this major survey, Anthony Goodman sweeps through the traditional dividing line at 1485 between 'late medieval' and 'early modern' in English history. His aim is to present the period from the early fourteenth century to the early seventeenth century as a developing entity with a logic and unity of its own. His account of political and institutional development starts with the tensions surrounding the deposition of Edward II in 1327. He analyses the crucial readjustment in the following decades of the relationships between Crown and community; and shows how there developed out of this a lasting in frequently unstable political order. Its eventual decay in the sixteenth century was to underlie the political problems of the Jacobean age. The decay was itself part of a still more fundamental process: the passing, in most spheres of activity, of the later Middle Ages. The book closes with a brief account of the developments leading to the tensions between 'Court' and 'Country' in the reign of James I-tensions marking the prelude to a further desposition and another readjustment of the political scene. The treatment, as befits Mr. Goodman's intentions, is largely thematic, with chapters surveying major topics across the whole period down to the 1620s. Subjects covered include economic structure and change; the central institutions of government; local government and shire communities; the Church of England and Royal Supremacy; and England's changing role in Christendom.
These chapters, though, are built around a firm narrative core - in fact one of Mr. Goodman's intentions is to provide a chronicle of events for readers, acknowledging that many of them may well have only a limited grasp of the details of 'what actually happened'. Three central narrative chapters therefore cover the years to the mid 1580s in detail, while the concluding synoptic chapter draws the major threads together with an outline of the radical changes, social and political, that took place between the 1580s and the death of James, and their significance for the future.

Whilst the book's focus is broad, the analysis is penetrating and the style is balanced and energetic - in this sense, therefore, the book should appeal to the already knowledgeable specialist and the non-specialist alike.

List of Figures; Acknowledgements; Preface

1. The Character of an Englishman
2. Rural and Urban Economy and Society

-sources of information about the agrarian economy and society; regional resources, occupations and tenures, crises and change in rural economy; peasant society; trade; urban government and society
3. The Central Institutions of Government
-Crown and Commonwealth; the evolution of parliaments: the House of Lords; the evolution of parliaments: the House of Commons; The Commons and parliament business; Royal residences and the Household; the council; Privy Seal; Signet and Chancery; King's Bench and Common Pleas; Financial Departments, sources of income, and revenue problems
4. Shire government and society
-the sheriff and the local enforcement of royal rights; Justices of the peace; blood and rank; social bonds; social ideals
5. The Royal Will and Its Opponents, 1325-1449
-The fall of Edward II (1325-27); the reign of Edward III (1327-77); the new reign: the Peasants' Revolt (1377-81); the young King (1381-89); the rule and deposition of Richard II (1389-99); the reign of Henry IV (1399-1413); the reign of Henry V (1413-22); Henry VI's minority and first decade of rule (1422-49)
6. The Hundred Years War, 1337-1453
-the origins of the war; the early stages of the war: the campaigns of Edward III's reign; war and truce under Richard II and Henry IV (1377-1413); the invasions of Henry V and Lancastrian rule in France (1415-35); the decline of English rule in France (1435-53); military organisation and the consequences of the war
7. Dynastic Instabilities, 1450-1587
-the last phase of Lancastrian rule (1450-61); the rule of Edward Iv (1461-83) and the readoption of Henry VI (1470-71); Edward V and Richard III (April 1483-August 1485); the end of The Wars of the Roses; Henry VII: the unknown usurper (1485-1509); the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47); the reigns of Edward VI and Mary: the testing of the Henrician polity (1547-58); Elizabethan settlement (1558-87)
8. The Church, devotion and reform
-some structural elements; relations with the papacy; the episcopate; Chantries, parishes and the secular clergy; devotional trends; the religious life of Margery Kempe; John Wycliffe and Lollardy; the Reformation
9. England's changing role in Christendom, 1453-1585
-traditional relationships with neighbouring principalities; the foreign relations of usurping kings; war and diplomacy under Henry VIII (1509-47); shrinking ambitions and growing insecurity
10. Continuity and change: the late Elizabethan and early Stuart polity
Bibliography; Index

List of figures:
Fig. 1 Population, wages and prices in later medieval and early modern England
Fig. 2 The overseas trade of later medieval England
Fig. 3 The rise of the Merchant Adventurers - England's exports of raw wool and woollen cloth 1347-1544
Fig. 4 Later Medieval London
Fig. 5 The distribution of wealth, and its rate of growth, in later medieval England
Fig. 6 The Anglo-Scottish borders
Fig. 7 France and its neighbouring principalities in the later Middle Ages
Fig. 8 The royal descent, Henry II to Henry VI
Fig. 9 The royal descent, Edward IV to James I

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