Week 1

Week 1: Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Britain Before Rome

Introduction to our year studying the history of England.

Paleolithic and Neolithic Britain

Stonehenge 3000 BC

Skara Brae (Scotland, Orkney Islands)

THE FIRST INVASION: Celts

THE SECOND INVASION: Romans

THE THIRD INVASION: Anglo-Saxons

THE FOURTH INVASION: Danes

THE FIFTH INVASION: Normans

 

PDF copy of lecture available below.
1.England.10.3.19.09

 

REQUIRED READING:

No required reading for our first week.

RECOMMENDED READING:

1) This is the best one-volume treatment of all of British history. The price for a new paperback is now $58.00, which is too much for our class. So I recommend that you buy a used HARDCOVER. If you check the prices you will find good ones starting at about $10.00 which is a great deal. There are about 50 copies right now so that means that anyone in our class who wants a copy will be able to own one. This is a general background book for the whole year.

Norman Davies,

The Isles: A History,

Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2000),

ISBN 0195134427

There are many good used hardcover copies.

Peter Ackroyd,

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination,

Anchor,

ISBN 0385497733

 

2

Week 2: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Roman Britain

Britain as a Roman Colony.
How "Romanized" was Britain?
The limits of the Roman conquest.
And how the limits influenced all of later British history.
Romans versus the Britons.
Remnants of Roman Britain.

 

SEE BELOW THE PDF COPY OF WEEK 2 LECTURE

2.england.10.15.19

RECOMMENDED READING:

Norman Davies,

The Isles: A History,

Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2000),

ISBN 0195134427

There are many good used hardcover copies.

 

3

Week 3: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
St. Patrick

Christian Britain.

Saint Patrick. (Wales?)
Saint Columban.
Saint Boniface
The role of British missionaries in the conversion of northern Europe.

 

SEE BELOW LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF ST PATRICK LECTURE.

3.england.StPatrick.10.16

REQUIRED READING:

The Confessio of Saint Patrick

RECOMMENDED READING:

Phillip Freeman,

St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography,

Simon & Schuster,

ISBN 0743256344

PART TWO: DVD

"In Search of Ancient Ireland" (PBS)

4

Week 4: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
King Arthur

King Arthur and the "Matter of Britain."
From the Wikipedia: "King Arthur is an important figure in the mythology of Great Britain, where he appears as the ideal of kingship both in war and peace. He is the central character in the cycle of legends known as the Matter of Britain. There is disagreement about whether Arthur, or a model for him, ever actually existed. In the earliest mentions and in Welsh texts, he is never given the title 'King'. An early text refers to him as a dux bellorum ('war leader'), and medieval Welsh texts often call him ameraudur ('emperor'; the word is borrowed from the Latin imperator, which could also mean 'war leader')."
King Arthur and the Round Table.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF WEEK 4 LECTURE
4.england.arthur.10.23

 

You also may want to consult the Wikipedia: King Arthur which is very useful.

REQUIRED READING:

Thomas Malory,

Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript,

Helen Cooper (editor),

Oxford University Press (2008),

ISBN 0199537348

READING MALORY:
Read the editor Helen Cooper's Introduction on p. vi. It is very good and very helpful and I recommend that you also read the few pages she provides on this text (pp. xxiii-xxvi). And yes I know you will all remind me that I always say don't read the introduction, but that is exactly why I am writing this all out in detail. This introduction is useful. Then you will move forward with Malory's text beginning on p.3. This text is very long, running to more than 500 pages, and I do not expect you will want to read all of it. So, how much? I would say read through the story of Lancelot which ends on p. 119. That will give you a very good idea of what the tale of Arthur is all about and what Malory cared about.

RECOMMENDED READING:

T. H. White,

The Once and Future King,

Ace Books; Reprint edition (June 1987),

ISBN 0441627404

PART TWO: DVD

Francis Pryor, King Arthur's Britain.

5

Week 5: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Beowulf

Britain in the Dark Ages.
Beowulf.
Discussion.

 

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 5

5.England.Beowulf.11.5

 

PART TWO:

British Museum video on Sutton Hoo (on Youtube)

REQUIRED READING:

Seamus Heaney,

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition),

W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (February 17, 2001),

ISBN 0393320979

6

Week 6: Tuesday, November 12, 2019
1066

Europe and the Year 1000.
Europe emerging from the Dark Ages.
The new European states.
1066 and the Norman Conquest.

 

SEE BELOW A LINK TO A PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 6

6.1066.11.7.19

 

PART TWO: PICTURES:

The Bayeux Tapestry. The Bayeux Tapestry (French: Tapisserie de Bayeux) is a 50 cm by 70 meters (20 in by 230 ft) long embroidered cloth. It depicts scenes before and during the Battle of Hastings in 1066, with annotations in Latin. It is presently exhibited in a special museum in Bayeux, Normandy, France.

RECOMMENDED READING:

George Macauley Trevelyan,

A Shortened History of England,

Penguin Books (April 1, 1988),

ISBN 0140233237

7

Week 7: Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Henry II & English Common Law

The Plantagenets: Henry II, Richard I, John I, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III.
The formation of the English state.
Henry II and the creation of English Common Law.
How did he do it?
Common Law vs. Continental Law (Roman)
The Rights of Englishmen.

This week we begin to study the extraordinary family to which King Henry II belonged: the Plantagenets. Henry descended on his mother's side from the kings of England, and on his father's side (Geoffrey of Anjou) from the great Norman dukes of Normandy and Anjou. The name Plantagenet came from the yellow flowery plant that Geoffrey put into his hat or helmet so that his men would know where he was in a battle. It was both courageous and challenging. His son Henry inherited Normandy, Anjou and Brittany from him, and then young Henry married Eleanor of Aquitaine and added the huge duchy of Aquitaine to his titles. Then in 1154, he was crowned King of England. Dan Jones' great book about the whole family is a good place to start if you would like to know more about these amazing people.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF THE LECTURE FOR WEEK 7 HENRY II
7.england.hen II.11.21.19

RECOMMENDED READING

Dan Jones,

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England,

Viking, 2013,

ISBN ISBN-10: 9780670026654

From Booklist
They may lack the glamour of the Tudors or the majesty of the Victorians, but in Jones’ latest book, the Plantagenets are just as essential to the foundation of modern Britain. As he chronicles the entire dynasty, beginning with Geoffrey of Anjou (commonly adorned with a sprig of Planta genista, which gave his line their moniker), familiar dramatis personae emerge. Of course, there’s the recklessly brave Lionheart and the incomparably inept John, but Jones devotes ample time to the forces at work that shaped the kingdom. The great battles against the Scots and French and the subjugation of the Welsh make for thrilling reading but so do the equally enthralling struggles over succession, the Magna Carta, and the Provisions of Oxford. Many of these early inklings toward a permanent parliament and the rule of law would find a much fuller and fraught expression under the Stewarts, but they begin here. Written with prose that keeps the reader captivated throughout accounts of the span of centuries and the not-always-glorious trials of kingship, this book is at all times approachable, academic, and entertaining. --James Orbesen

Reviews
“Like the medieval chroniclers he quarries for juicy anecdotes, Jones has opted for a bold narrative approach anchored firmly upon the personalities of the monarchs themselves yet deftly marshaling a vast supporting cast of counts, dukes, and bishops. . . . Fast-paced and accessible, The Plantagenets is old-fashioned storytelling and will be particularly appreciated by those who like their history red in tooth and claw. Mr. Jones tackles his subject with obvious relish.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Delicious . . . Jones has produced a rollicking, compelling book produced a rollicking, compelling book about a rollicking, compelling dynasty, one that makes the Tudors who followed them a century later look like ginger pussycats. . . . The Plantagenets is told with the latest historical evidence and rich in detail and scene-setting. You can almost smell the sea salt as the White Ship sinks, and hear the screams of the tortured at the execution grounds at Tyburn.”
—USA Today

“Jones has brought the Plantagenets out of the shadows, revealing them in all their epic heroism and depravity. His is an engaging and readable account—itself an accomplishment given the gaps in medieval sources and a 300-year tableau—and yet researched with the exacting standards of an academician. The result is an enjoyable, often harrowing journey through a bloody, insecure era in which many of the underpinnings of English kingship and ¬Anglo-American constitutional thinking were formed.”
—The Washington Post

“Outstanding . . . Majestic in its sweep, compelling in its storytelling, this is narrative history at its best. A thrilling dynastic history of royal intrigues, violent skullduggery, and brutal warfare across two centuries of British history.”
—Simon Sebag Montefiore, bestselling author of Jerusalem: The Biography

“This is history at its most epic and thrilling. I would defy anyone not to be right royally entertained by it.”
—Tom Holland

THANKSGIVING IS NEXT WEEK
WE ARE OFF THE WHOLE WEEK FOR THANKSGIVING

 

8

Week 8: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
The Magna Carta

From Henry II to John I, The Plantagenets
The reign of King John
The Rights of Englishmen.
June 1215.
Crisis of the political order.
The most important document in all of Western Civilization.
The origins of all legal protections of the individual in Western Civilization.
England, America, Canada, Australia etc. and human rights.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 8 Magna Carta
8.englnd.magnacarta.11.28.19

SEE THE MAGNA CARTA AT THE BRITISH LIBRARY

RECOMMENDED READING:

The best edition of the Magna Carta comes from A. E. Dick Howard of the University of Virginia. Professor Howard has produced an excellent small economical edition with the whole text of the Magna Carta along with excellent analysis.

A. E. Dick Howard,

Magna Carta: Text and Commentary,

University of Virginia Press,

ISBN 0813901219

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOOK

The best book that we have now on the Magna Carta is a new book from Dan Jones, the expert on the Plantagenets. Jones has given us the perfect overall study of the Plantagenet family Henry II, Richard, John, and all the relationships that contributed to the situation in England in 1215. And also he gives us an account of the social and political context of the great document. It is good history and as always with Dan Jones, a good read.

Dan Jones,

Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty,

Viking, 2015,

ISBN ISBN-10: 0525428291

Reviews:
"Lively and excellent."
—The New York Times

"By putting the Magna Carta in its proper historical context, the brilliant young historian Dan Jones triumphantly answers the questions he poses in his Introduction, about how it came to be granted, what it meant at the time, and what it should mean to us today."
—Andrew Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of Napoleon

"Excellent and very well-crafted."
—The New York Review of Books

"Dan Jones has an enviable gift for telling a dramatic story while at the same time inviting us to consider serious topics like liberty and the seeds of representative government."
—Antonia Frasier

9

Week 9: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Parliament

Parliament is one of the three great achievements of the Middle Ages: parliaments, universities, and monasteries. All European nations tried to build parliaments, but only England entered into the seventeenth century with a parliament healthy enough to challenge inevitable monarchical overreach. Spain lost hers in the terrible dynastic wars that ripped Iberia apart. France lost hers to the insatiable appetite of the Bourbon kings. Thus by the late seventeenth century only England still had a working effective parliament. The builders of this great achievement were the Medieval kings who came after Henry II and it included the Henrys (II, III, IV & V) and the Edwards (I, and III). Then in the Tudor era, Parliament moved into real live form during the crisis of the "divorce." Henry needed a divorce and Parliament could give it to him: for a price. He accepted the bargain reluctantly, and then regretted it immediately. But it was too late. And his prime minister was maneuvering all the time in the background to bring about exactly this outcome. Cromwell paid the ultimate price. And we all won the prize.

SEE BELOW LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 9 PARLIAMENT
9.englnd.parliament.12.8.19

RECOMMENDED READING:

Desmond Seward,

The Hundred Years War: The English in France 1337-1453,

Penguin Books,

ISBN 0140283617

Alison Weir,

The Wars of the Roses,

Ballantine Books,

ISBN 0345404335

J. R. Maddicott,

The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327,

Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (April 7, 2012),

ISBN 0199645345

10

Week 10: Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales.
England at 1400.

REQUIRED READING:

Geoffrey Chaucer,

The Canterbury Tales,

W. W. Norton & Company; Third edition (May 1, 2018),

ISBN 1324000562

Read: Prologue (p. 1), The Knight's Tale (p. 26), The Miller's Tale (p. 88),
The Reeve's Tale (p. 108), The Wife of Bath Prologue (p. 258), The Wife of Bath's Tale (p. 281).

Christmas Vacation (2 Weeks)

next class Tuesday Jan 7, 2020.

 

All

Week 1: Tue., Oct. 8, 2019
Britain Before Rome

Introduction to our year studying the history of England.

Paleolithic and Neolithic Britain

Stonehenge 3000 BC

Skara Brae (Scotland, Orkney Islands)

THE FIRST INVASION: Celts

THE SECOND INVASION: Romans

THE THIRD INVASION: Anglo-Saxons

THE FOURTH INVASION: Danes

THE FIFTH INVASION: Normans

 

PDF copy of lecture available below.
1.England.10.3.19.09

 

REQUIRED READING:

No required reading for our first week.

RECOMMENDED READING:

1) This is the best one-volume treatment of all of British history. The price for a new paperback is now $58.00, which is too much for our class. So I recommend that you buy a used HARDCOVER. If you check the prices you will find good ones starting at about $10.00 which is a great deal. There are about 50 copies right now so that means that anyone in our class who wants a copy will be able to own one. This is a general background book for the whole year.

Norman Davies,

The Isles: A History,

Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2000),

ISBN 0195134427

There are many good used hardcover copies.

Peter Ackroyd,

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination,

Anchor,

ISBN 0385497733

 

Week 2: Tue., Oct. 15, 2019
Roman Britain

Britain as a Roman Colony.
How "Romanized" was Britain?
The limits of the Roman conquest.
And how the limits influenced all of later British history.
Romans versus the Britons.
Remnants of Roman Britain.

 

SEE BELOW THE PDF COPY OF WEEK 2 LECTURE

2.england.10.15.19

RECOMMENDED READING:

Norman Davies,

The Isles: A History,

Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2000),

ISBN 0195134427

There are many good used hardcover copies.

 

Week 3: Tue., Oct. 22, 2019
St. Patrick

Christian Britain.

Saint Patrick. (Wales?)
Saint Columban.
Saint Boniface
The role of British missionaries in the conversion of northern Europe.

 

SEE BELOW LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF ST PATRICK LECTURE.

3.england.StPatrick.10.16

REQUIRED READING:

The Confessio of Saint Patrick

RECOMMENDED READING:

Phillip Freeman,

St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography,

Simon & Schuster,

ISBN 0743256344

PART TWO: DVD

"In Search of Ancient Ireland" (PBS)

Week 4: Tue., Oct. 29, 2019
King Arthur

King Arthur and the "Matter of Britain."
From the Wikipedia: "King Arthur is an important figure in the mythology of Great Britain, where he appears as the ideal of kingship both in war and peace. He is the central character in the cycle of legends known as the Matter of Britain. There is disagreement about whether Arthur, or a model for him, ever actually existed. In the earliest mentions and in Welsh texts, he is never given the title 'King'. An early text refers to him as a dux bellorum ('war leader'), and medieval Welsh texts often call him ameraudur ('emperor'; the word is borrowed from the Latin imperator, which could also mean 'war leader')."
King Arthur and the Round Table.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF WEEK 4 LECTURE
4.england.arthur.10.23

 

You also may want to consult the Wikipedia: King Arthur which is very useful.

REQUIRED READING:

Thomas Malory,

Le Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript,

Helen Cooper (editor),

Oxford University Press (2008),

ISBN 0199537348

READING MALORY:
Read the editor Helen Cooper's Introduction on p. vi. It is very good and very helpful and I recommend that you also read the few pages she provides on this text (pp. xxiii-xxvi). And yes I know you will all remind me that I always say don't read the introduction, but that is exactly why I am writing this all out in detail. This introduction is useful. Then you will move forward with Malory's text beginning on p.3. This text is very long, running to more than 500 pages, and I do not expect you will want to read all of it. So, how much? I would say read through the story of Lancelot which ends on p. 119. That will give you a very good idea of what the tale of Arthur is all about and what Malory cared about.

RECOMMENDED READING:

T. H. White,

The Once and Future King,

Ace Books; Reprint edition (June 1987),

ISBN 0441627404

PART TWO: DVD

Francis Pryor, King Arthur's Britain.

Week 5: Tue., Nov. 5, 2019
Beowulf

Britain in the Dark Ages.
Beowulf.
Discussion.

 

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 5

5.England.Beowulf.11.5

 

PART TWO:

British Museum video on Sutton Hoo (on Youtube)

REQUIRED READING:

Seamus Heaney,

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition),

W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (February 17, 2001),

ISBN 0393320979

Week 6: Tue., Nov. 12, 2019
1066

Europe and the Year 1000.
Europe emerging from the Dark Ages.
The new European states.
1066 and the Norman Conquest.

 

SEE BELOW A LINK TO A PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 6

6.1066.11.7.19

 

PART TWO: PICTURES:

The Bayeux Tapestry. The Bayeux Tapestry (French: Tapisserie de Bayeux) is a 50 cm by 70 meters (20 in by 230 ft) long embroidered cloth. It depicts scenes before and during the Battle of Hastings in 1066, with annotations in Latin. It is presently exhibited in a special museum in Bayeux, Normandy, France.

RECOMMENDED READING:

George Macauley Trevelyan,

A Shortened History of England,

Penguin Books (April 1, 1988),

ISBN 0140233237

Week 7: Tue., Nov. 19, 2019
Henry II & English Common Law

The Plantagenets: Henry II, Richard I, John I, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III.
The formation of the English state.
Henry II and the creation of English Common Law.
How did he do it?
Common Law vs. Continental Law (Roman)
The Rights of Englishmen.

This week we begin to study the extraordinary family to which King Henry II belonged: the Plantagenets. Henry descended on his mother's side from the kings of England, and on his father's side (Geoffrey of Anjou) from the great Norman dukes of Normandy and Anjou. The name Plantagenet came from the yellow flowery plant that Geoffrey put into his hat or helmet so that his men would know where he was in a battle. It was both courageous and challenging. His son Henry inherited Normandy, Anjou and Brittany from him, and then young Henry married Eleanor of Aquitaine and added the huge duchy of Aquitaine to his titles. Then in 1154, he was crowned King of England. Dan Jones' great book about the whole family is a good place to start if you would like to know more about these amazing people.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF THE LECTURE FOR WEEK 7 HENRY II
7.england.hen II.11.21.19

RECOMMENDED READING

Dan Jones,

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England,

Viking, 2013,

ISBN ISBN-10: 9780670026654

From Booklist
They may lack the glamour of the Tudors or the majesty of the Victorians, but in Jones’ latest book, the Plantagenets are just as essential to the foundation of modern Britain. As he chronicles the entire dynasty, beginning with Geoffrey of Anjou (commonly adorned with a sprig of Planta genista, which gave his line their moniker), familiar dramatis personae emerge. Of course, there’s the recklessly brave Lionheart and the incomparably inept John, but Jones devotes ample time to the forces at work that shaped the kingdom. The great battles against the Scots and French and the subjugation of the Welsh make for thrilling reading but so do the equally enthralling struggles over succession, the Magna Carta, and the Provisions of Oxford. Many of these early inklings toward a permanent parliament and the rule of law would find a much fuller and fraught expression under the Stewarts, but they begin here. Written with prose that keeps the reader captivated throughout accounts of the span of centuries and the not-always-glorious trials of kingship, this book is at all times approachable, academic, and entertaining. --James Orbesen

Reviews
“Like the medieval chroniclers he quarries for juicy anecdotes, Jones has opted for a bold narrative approach anchored firmly upon the personalities of the monarchs themselves yet deftly marshaling a vast supporting cast of counts, dukes, and bishops. . . . Fast-paced and accessible, The Plantagenets is old-fashioned storytelling and will be particularly appreciated by those who like their history red in tooth and claw. Mr. Jones tackles his subject with obvious relish.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Delicious . . . Jones has produced a rollicking, compelling book produced a rollicking, compelling book about a rollicking, compelling dynasty, one that makes the Tudors who followed them a century later look like ginger pussycats. . . . The Plantagenets is told with the latest historical evidence and rich in detail and scene-setting. You can almost smell the sea salt as the White Ship sinks, and hear the screams of the tortured at the execution grounds at Tyburn.”
—USA Today

“Jones has brought the Plantagenets out of the shadows, revealing them in all their epic heroism and depravity. His is an engaging and readable account—itself an accomplishment given the gaps in medieval sources and a 300-year tableau—and yet researched with the exacting standards of an academician. The result is an enjoyable, often harrowing journey through a bloody, insecure era in which many of the underpinnings of English kingship and ¬Anglo-American constitutional thinking were formed.”
—The Washington Post

“Outstanding . . . Majestic in its sweep, compelling in its storytelling, this is narrative history at its best. A thrilling dynastic history of royal intrigues, violent skullduggery, and brutal warfare across two centuries of British history.”
—Simon Sebag Montefiore, bestselling author of Jerusalem: The Biography

“This is history at its most epic and thrilling. I would defy anyone not to be right royally entertained by it.”
—Tom Holland

THANKSGIVING IS NEXT WEEK
WE ARE OFF THE WHOLE WEEK FOR THANKSGIVING

 

Week 8: Tue., Dec. 3, 2019
The Magna Carta

From Henry II to John I, The Plantagenets
The reign of King John
The Rights of Englishmen.
June 1215.
Crisis of the political order.
The most important document in all of Western Civilization.
The origins of all legal protections of the individual in Western Civilization.
England, America, Canada, Australia etc. and human rights.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 8 Magna Carta
8.englnd.magnacarta.11.28.19

SEE THE MAGNA CARTA AT THE BRITISH LIBRARY

RECOMMENDED READING:

The best edition of the Magna Carta comes from A. E. Dick Howard of the University of Virginia. Professor Howard has produced an excellent small economical edition with the whole text of the Magna Carta along with excellent analysis.

A. E. Dick Howard,

Magna Carta: Text and Commentary,

University of Virginia Press,

ISBN 0813901219

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOOK

The best book that we have now on the Magna Carta is a new book from Dan Jones, the expert on the Plantagenets. Jones has given us the perfect overall study of the Plantagenet family Henry II, Richard, John, and all the relationships that contributed to the situation in England in 1215. And also he gives us an account of the social and political context of the great document. It is good history and as always with Dan Jones, a good read.

Dan Jones,

Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty,

Viking, 2015,

ISBN ISBN-10: 0525428291

Reviews:
"Lively and excellent."
—The New York Times

"By putting the Magna Carta in its proper historical context, the brilliant young historian Dan Jones triumphantly answers the questions he poses in his Introduction, about how it came to be granted, what it meant at the time, and what it should mean to us today."
—Andrew Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of Napoleon

"Excellent and very well-crafted."
—The New York Review of Books

"Dan Jones has an enviable gift for telling a dramatic story while at the same time inviting us to consider serious topics like liberty and the seeds of representative government."
—Antonia Frasier

Week 9: Tue., Dec. 10, 2019
Parliament

Parliament is one of the three great achievements of the Middle Ages: parliaments, universities, and monasteries. All European nations tried to build parliaments, but only England entered into the seventeenth century with a parliament healthy enough to challenge inevitable monarchical overreach. Spain lost hers in the terrible dynastic wars that ripped Iberia apart. France lost hers to the insatiable appetite of the Bourbon kings. Thus by the late seventeenth century only England still had a working effective parliament. The builders of this great achievement were the Medieval kings who came after Henry II and it included the Henrys (II, III, IV & V) and the Edwards (I, and III). Then in the Tudor era, Parliament moved into real live form during the crisis of the "divorce." Henry needed a divorce and Parliament could give it to him: for a price. He accepted the bargain reluctantly, and then regretted it immediately. But it was too late. And his prime minister was maneuvering all the time in the background to bring about exactly this outcome. Cromwell paid the ultimate price. And we all won the prize.

SEE BELOW LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 9 PARLIAMENT
9.englnd.parliament.12.8.19

RECOMMENDED READING:

Desmond Seward,

The Hundred Years War: The English in France 1337-1453,

Penguin Books,

ISBN 0140283617

Alison Weir,

The Wars of the Roses,

Ballantine Books,

ISBN 0345404335

J. R. Maddicott,

The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327,

Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (April 7, 2012),

ISBN 0199645345

Week 10: Tue., Dec. 17, 2019
Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales.
England at 1400.

REQUIRED READING:

Geoffrey Chaucer,

The Canterbury Tales,

W. W. Norton & Company; Third edition (May 1, 2018),

ISBN 1324000562

Read: Prologue (p. 1), The Knight's Tale (p. 26), The Miller's Tale (p. 88),
The Reeve's Tale (p. 108), The Wife of Bath Prologue (p. 258), The Wife of Bath's Tale (p. 281).

Christmas Vacation (2 Weeks)

next class Tuesday Jan 7, 2020.