The Great, the Pious, the Fair; the Wise, the Lame, the Mad. Imprisoned, deposed, exiled. Excommunicated, assassinated; devout, debauched; loved, loathed - the Middle Ages produced a fascinating array of monarchs. From Britain to Russia, from Scandinavia to Sicily, from the 9th century CE to the completion of the Reconquista of Spain in 1492, Kings & Queens of the Medieval World explores the captivating stories of monarchs from all across Europe.
Arranged thematically, the book groups the kings and queens by their achievements - military leaders, law-makers, religious reformers, patrons of the arts. These are stories of monarchs leading their armies into battle to expand or defend their territory, and of kings - and queens - going on crusade - both within Europe and to the Holy Land. These, too, are stories of, on the one hand, countries united by marriage, and, on the other, sons scheming against fathers in an effort to gain - and maintain - power.
And yet these are also the stories of the people who constructed beautiful cathedrals, who founded universities and supported artists, of religious kings who were later canonised, of kings who created more just legal systems, established parliaments and permanent armies, and laid the foundations for more modern governments and societies.
Featuring the major European dynasties, Kings & Queens of the Medieval World is a lively account of monarchs from Charlemagne to Alexander Nevsky to Ferdinand and Isabella. Illustrated with 180 colour and black-and-white artworks, photographs and maps, this is a colourful, accessible history.