There aren't a lot of books scheduled for release in December. With the upcoming holidays, I'll be travelling quite a bit and my internet access may be sporadic so I thought I would go ahead and post what releases there are for the rest of the month (a couple had their release dates changed from later in the month to last week).
The remarkable treasure of gold and silver from England and France which Richard II had amassed by the end of his reign in 1399 is fully revealed for the first time in this richly illustrated book. The author explores the nature of the objects themselves, their provenance and later fate, and examines the crucial role the treasure played in diplomacy and in financing the Hundred Years War, especially at the time of Agincourt.
This fresh analysis is based on the discovery in the National Archives at Kew of a roll over 28 metres long, compiled around the time of Richard's deposition. English courtiers and Valois princes are named as the donors of many gifts. Concealed among the treasure are valuables Richard seized from the magnates he executed or exiled in 1397. Publication in full of this exceptional inventory leads to completely new perspectives on Richard II's court and on its splendour in the last years of the fourteenth century. Jenny Stratford began her career in the Department of Manuscripts, the British Library. Her books include The Bedford Inventories (1993). She is a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.
1096. The Pope has called for a Crusade to free Jerusalem, and half the warriors of Europe have responded. Among them is the Norman, Count Bohemund, one-time enemy of Byzantium, whose help is required if progress is to be possible. In company with his warrior nephew, Tancred of Lecce, Bohemund must once more cross the Adriatic to the lands of the Byzantine Empire. His first task, pushing back the Infidel Turks, calls for an uneasy alliance with old enemy Emperor Alexius. But can the Crusaders trust the wily Emperor, and is he really on their side?
With old tensions and grudges arising, and the violent crusades of the People's Pilgrimage bringing destruction upon middle Europe, the strength of this reluctant truce, and the de Hauteville dynasty itself, is truly put to the test. Bohemund is faced once again with the opportunity to gain power, land and riches for himself, but do the risks of doing so outweigh the rewards? The Crusaders must contend with sieges, open battles, hunger and want on their journey to mighty Antioch, where they face the stiffest test of their mettle. As defeat threatens, only Norman discipline can save the day.
The Welsh kings and queens who ruled prior to the Norman Conquest of Wales are shrouded in mystery. Most of what we know is from legend, names in annals, and from their opponents. This book sets out to identify what we know or can reasonably surmise about these rulers, to disentangle their history, and to assess their achievements. The Welsh ruled over large areas of Britain in the pre- and post-Roman eras, before they were pushed back into Wales itself by the Anglo-Saxons. Caratacus and Boudicca are names that stand out from early tribal states, and Medieval Welsh legends refer to shadowy 'High Kings' who ruled after the Romans left - Vortigern, Ambrosius and of course the enigmatic 'Arthur'. Venning explores these mysterious figures before discussing the kings and queens of each area of what we now know as Wales - the north, the centre and south-west, and the south-east - as well as the short-lived Welsh states in the rest of Britain. The thirteenth-century unifiers of Wales, Llewelyn 'Fawr' and his grandson Llewelyn 'the Last', were contemporaries of great nation-builders in England, Scotland, and France, but their political achievements did not last. The precarious Welsh state was permanently overrun by the English war-machine.