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Sunday, October 21, 2012


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your very good with maps but they never have any sense of scale.

Amanda S

My first live episode having finally caught up. Thank you so much for your terrific podcasts, David. You have a wonderful delivery and I enjoy your entertaining use of slightly inappropriate metaphors and similes.

Although I now live in Australia, I grew up in Warwickshire. So I am happy that, having listened to your podcasts, De Montfort means more to me now than the name of a hotel in Kenilworth (actually I see it's a Holiday Inn these days. How things change!). De Montfort definitely deserves a film or a good quality historical novel to raise him up in the general historical consciousness. Perhaps it's his strange mix of characteristics and the fact that he's so hard to pin down that's put people off.


Good heavens, I was just cheering for Edward I. That has honestly never happened before. A well-told tale, sir.

I'm rolling around your comment about the watershed in how battles are conducted. You may have something, there. Certainly, the English in a century or so will have little concern about capturing the flower of French chivalry rather than slaughtering them, right? (There's also probably something in there about the common man daring to strike down their betters and dating the notion of their right to do so back to various provisions, either they took hold formally or not.)

It's occurred to me that I knew nothing of the reign of Henry III until these podcasts. It seems like books on his predecessors abound and his successors seem fairly well-covered, but not so much Henry. Poor fellow.

Finally, a thought: how much role did the women have in politics at this stage? It seems very much like they were major players. The women who apologized for their menfolk to de Neville, for example, but also Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor of Provence, and later Isabella (She-Wolf of France). It seems to me as if they're having a lot more influence than the standard picture of a retiring, subservient wife I was brought up to believe in for this era. Is it possible that women lost ground in freedom of action in later centuries, or do we simply overlook their role? (Or was my upbringing simply flawed. If so, I blame society and television.)

Paul R

This was also my first episode after finally having caught up and this one seems like an unusually good one. I particularly like your slightly off-topic side comments, like your speculation on Lady Mortimer's response after receiving de Montfort's head as a gift from her husband and Edward's characteristically in-your-face attitude on naming his first-born son.

Much as I like Edward I (and really who can resist?), I really cannot wait for the collision that Henry's and Mortimer's grandsons are destined to have in the 1320's -- and I'm very curious to see your verdict on Edward II. But I know you'll make the journey there very enjoyable and enlightening. Thank you.

Ben Nicholson

I just found this website via facebook that looks like it might be intresting. It's called The History Files The facebook link https://www.facebook.com/#!/historyfiles and the website http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/index.html

It looks like it's info on kingdoms in Britain and the rest of the world. It's worth at least 1 look.

The History of England

Hi all, and thanks for the comments. I am looking forward very much to describing the pilitical brutality of Edward II's reign...thought there's a very good Edward II website (link on my blog) with a passionate defence of the guym so I'll have to bear that in mind. I like the comment 'who can really resist'...I've never liked EI so it'll be interested to see how I feel at the end.

I'll get in trouble from ignorance probably if I respond too much ont he role of women thing. But I suspect that it's often a matter of personalities, and also role. It was pretty clear throughout society what women and men's roles were, and women would certainly have fewer legal rights; but of coutse individuals would over come that. One reason why the Eleanors are so well known was the force of their personality - and Isabella is a prime example. But they get a bad press from the monks/chroniclers is part of the problem! Monks are generally speaking not keen on women who don't stay in their place...

Amanda, I agree ! Though there are so few really good historical films...when I start casting, what role will you play?

Thanks for forwarding the link, Ben - looks like a really good site, and I'll link to it.


A quick question... I have restumbled across the Plantagenet's series by Costain... rereading it, and I always thought it was fiction, and now I am realizing that it is fact. A good read, have you happened to come across it yet?

(though not as good as ladybirds :))

Amanda S

David, I reckon that Maud de Braose, the recipient of Simon de Montfort's head, is definitely the pick of the female roles in any planned film. However I think that I'm probably better suited to peasant woman number 3.

The History of England

Great choice! Given the Braose family history, you'd be ready for pretty much anything life had to throw at you...

The History of England

Hi Damase - I haven't directly come across him; though I did notice, while wandering around Wikipedia, that there was one article where pretty much every reference was to Costain. So I hope he's good ! I'll check one out...

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