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Late Medieval Monarchies

Seminar and Essay Questions

  • 'For the monarchies of France and England the period 1450-1500 was one of recovery and consolidation rather than of innovation'. Discuss.
  • To what extent did the fifteenth century witness a reconfiguration in England and France of the relative powers of king, nobles, and commons?


Introductory Reading

Barber, The Two Cities. No readings.

Bartlett, The Making of Europe, 24-105

Waley and Denley, Later Medieval Europe, 3-28, 48-63, 132-149, 172-217, 314-317

Hay, Denys, Chapter 5 'The theory and practice of government' and Chapter 6 'Political development in Western Europe' in Hay, Europe in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (1989)


Further Reading


Anderson, M.S., and M. Smith, The Origins of the Modern European State System, 1494-1618 (London, 1998)

Black, Antony, Political Thought in Europe, 1250-1450 (Cambridge, 1992)

Contamine, Philippe, War in the Middle Ages, trans. Michael Jones (Oxford, 1984)

Davies, Rees, 'The Medieval State: The Tyranny of a Concept?' Journal of Historical Sociology 16 no. 2 (2003), 280–300.

Hale, J.R., War and Society in Renaissance Europe (Stroud, 1998)

Hay, Denys, Europe in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (1989)

Jones, Philip, The Italian City-State: From Commune to Signoria (Oxford, 1997)

Kirshner, Julius (ed.), The Origins of the State in Italy 1300-1600 (Chicago, 1995) [These essays are also available online here]

Reynolds, Susan, 'There were States in Medieval Europe: A Response to Rees Davies', Journal of Historical Sociology 16 no. 4 (2003), 550–55.

Rubin, Miri, The Hollow Crown: A History of Britain in the Late Middle Ages (London, 2006)

Shennan, J.H., Origins of the Modern European State, 1450-1725 (London, 1974)


Carpenter, Christine, The Wars of the Roses: Politics and the Constitution in England, c.1437-1509 (Cambridge, 1997)

Curry, Anne, The Hundred Years War (Basingstoke, 2003) [also online]

Froissart, Jean, Chronicles, ed. and trans. John Jolliffe (Harmondsworth, 1978) [The most important contemporary history of the Hundred Years' War] [also online]

Gunn, S., Early Tudor Government (Basingstoke, 1995)

Hicks, Michael, English Political Culture in the Fifteenth Century (London, 2002) [also online]

Keen, M.H., England in the Later Middle Ages (London, 1973)

Lander, J.R., Conflict and Stability in Fifteenth-Century England (London, 1977)

Lander, J.R., Government and Community: England, 1450-1509 (London, 1980)

McFarlane, K.B., England in the Fifteenth Century (London, 1981)

Ormrod, W.M., Political Life in Medieval England, 1300-1450 (Basingstoke, 1995)

Ormrod, W.M., The Reign of Edward III (New Haven, 1990)

Saul, Nigel (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval England (Oxford, 1997)

Wolffe, B.P., Yorkist and Early Tudor Government (London, 1969)


Commynes, Philippe de, Memoirs: the Reign of Louis XI, ed. and trans. Michael Jones (Harmondsworth, 1972)

Knecht, Robert, The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France, 1483-1610, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2001)

Lewis, P.S., Later Medieval France: The Polity (London, 1968)

Lewis, P.S., The Recovery of France in the Fifteenth Century (London, 1971)

Potter, David, France in the Later Middle Ages 1200-1500 (Oxford, 2003)

Vaughan, Richard, Charles the Bold: the Last Valois Duke of Burgundy (London, 1973)

Vaughan, Richard, Philip the Good, the Apogee of Burgundy (Harlow, 1970)