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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.
This experience cannot be contained by words
The academic reasons for studying with Oxford professors stands by itself as the number one reason someone should want to engage in this program, but ...
Katherine Ciesla, Autumn Semester 2010, Elmhurst College