By Wendy R. Childs
The Vita Edwardi Secundi is the easiest and such a lot readable of the chronicles of the reign of Edward II, and throws a desirable gentle at the global of excessive politics. The nameless writer used to be on the subject of the centre of politics, most likely a royal clerk, and doubtless John Walwayn (or anyone with an identical career). His concentration is essentially on family politics and the connection of the king and his barons, and he files the clashes and reconciliations of the interval 1311-22 in important element. He additionally has a lot to assert at the Scottish warfare, the appointment of bishops, and the outbreak of the French conflict. The paintings results in the wintry weather of 1325/6 with Queen Isabella's refusal to come back from France whereas Despenser remained with the king. The paintings is far greater than an easy chronicle. the writer consciously wrote background and so commented commonly on personalities, and likewise on causation, motivation, and the vices of his age. He was once beneficiant to Gaveston regardless of his delight, extra condemning of the Despensers' greed, and lamented Lancaster's wasted presents. His experiences at the arguments of each side within the clashes among the king and his competitors are rather enlightening, and express how critical have been the threats to the king's authority, particularly these voiced in 1321. The author's worry of civil conflict and makes an attempt to outline the nice line dividing resistance and treason most likely replicate the troubles of many as regards to the courtroom at the moment. fresh study has emphasised that the Vita might be visible as a 'journal' instead of a 'memoir', and this complements its price extra, permitting historians to chart the altering perspectives of a well-placed observer throughout the dramatic occasions of Edward's reign.The Vita has been edited 3 times earlier than, as soon as in every one century on the grounds that its discovery in 1728, however the final version of 1957 has lengthy been out of print. This re-creation revises the Latin textual content and translation, offers a very new creation and old notes to take account of contemporary scholarship, and encompasses a new and whole gear and indices.
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Additional resources for Vita Edwardi Secundi: The Life of Edward the Second (Oxford Medieval Texts)
R. Maddicott discerned a man sometimes shrewd in political tactics, sometimes energetic in action, but with no vision or political judgement, little interest in the 'business of ruling', and lacking military ability;63 and N. 64 Certainly, Edward's actions in defence of his prerogative, his military action and vengeance in 1321-2, and his success in obtaining money do not show a weak king in the conventional sense. Rather they show a man who had a clear idea of the power of kingship and a strong desire to exercise it, but unfortunately for him and the country, no clear idea of how to do this in the circumstances of the early fourteenth century, given his own love for his favourites and the uncompromising opposition of his cousin, Lancaster.
Within the west country, Denholm-Young argued strongly for the writer's interest in the earl of Hereford rather than the earl of Gloucester, although some of his points seem a little forced. The use, for instance, of 'bishop of that place' immediately after a reference to the city of Hereford seems quite acceptable as literary style, while if the author worked for Hereford, it seems discreet to the point of absurdity to make no personal comment on the earl, when he praises both Gloucester and Warwick.
In his twenty-year reign Edward faced defeat in the Scottish war, failure in France, and utter disaster at home: repeated threats and open violence against his favourites, a revolutionary reform programme, civil war, and finally deposition. Part of Edward I's legacy (unfinished war with Scotland, a ,£200,000 debt, recent resistance from 1297 onwards) meant that his successor might expect a rough ride at first, but there was no inevitability that the reign should end in deposition. Financial and political developments under Edward I offered the potential for solving the problems he left.
Vita Edwardi Secundi: The Life of Edward the Second (Oxford Medieval Texts) by Wendy R. Childs