A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain
Author Marc Morris titles Edward I of England “A Great and Terrible King” and proves his point in this masterful history. Edward’s life was exciting and dangerous from the start; even as a young prince, he was instrumental to subduing his father’s enemy, Simon de Montfort, then led a lauded campaign to the Holy Land. As king, his life was no more peaceful, consumed with wars with France, Wales, and Scotland. He was a powerful leader, charismatic and determined, and widely adored as a great king, although not without controversy—perhaps most notoriously for his expulsion of the Jews. Morris meticulously details Edward’s actions and their consequences by explaining both his successes and failures in their own historical context. His writing is eminently readable, and his superb analysis makes the book an engrossing read, while the attention to detail clarifies confusing relationships and political complications. There is a lot of information to cover, and this book does so comprehensively with its brisk pace that keeps you from feeling overwhelmed or ever bored. A Great and Terrible King will enthrall anyone interested in medieval or English history.