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HIST 0410 Later Medieval England

When the seven- year-old Henry III ascended his father’s throne in 1216, much of his kingdom was under French occupation; a peace treaty between the Crown and the political classes had failed disastrously; and all seemed close to collapse. When Henry VII died in 1509 he left a fully treasury; an administration run on the most modern (and rapacious) lines; a country where humanism was taking root; a prosperous and much loved English Church; and few signs of a resurgence of the sporadic civil war which had bedevilled England between 1455 and 1485.  Amongst the key themes which students might explore in this course are: the development of political institutions capable of managing relations between kings and those they ruled (most famously ‘parliament’); relations with France and England’s other neighbours; the development of the economy; the impact of disease; and the flourishing of vernacular literature.

 

Sample Syllabus

  • Magna Carta and the Rise of Parliament
  • Hammering the Scots and Ruling the Welsh
  • The Black Death: Who Gained and Who Lost?
  • ‘Here is God’s plenty’: Chaucer’s England
  • The Hundred Years’ War and English Identity
  • Heterodoxy and Heresy: the Challenge of Wycliff
  • The Wars of the Roses
  • Henry Tudor’s Settlement


Introductory Reading

  • King, E., Medieval England from Hastings to Bosworth.  Stroud: the History Press, New Edition, 2009
  • Keen, M.H., English Society in the Later Middle Ages, 1348-1500. London: Penguin, 1990
  • Saul, N., Age of Chivalry: Art and Society in Late Medieval England. London: Collis & Brown, 1992.
  • Robinson, F.N. (ed.), The Riverside Chaucer.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd edn, 2008
  • Froissart, Jean, Chronicles. Translated G. Brereton. London: Penguin, 1978 etc.
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I arrived in Oxford in September 2008 and, exactly one year later, found myself on the bus to Oxford for my second CMRS term. Another year later, I wa...
Megan Roper, Autumn Semesters 2008 & 2009, St Mary's College of Maryland