Synopses & Reviews
The years from 1066-the Norman conquest of England-to 1284-the English conquest of Wales--were momentous ones in the history of Britain. In this comprehensive synthesis canvassing the peoples, economies, religion, languages, and political leadership of medieval Britain, David Carpenter weaves together the histories of England, Scotland, and Wales. Arguing that English domination of the kingdom was by no means a foregone conclusion, Carpenter analyzes the multiple struggles for mastery of Great Britain. He explains why English monarchs focused on continental landholdings more than the island of Great Britain and narrates the loss of Normandy, Anjou, and Acquitaine. He recounts how the Welsh kings strove to recover areas lost to the Normans and to assert dominion over one another, and how the kings of Scotland expanded their realm to create a united Scotland. Based on readings of primary and secondary sources, Carpenter sheds light on major highlights of the period including the Battle of Hastings, the murder of Becket, and the signing of the Magna Carta, as well as intermarriage, the feudal system, and the characters of key figures. This new interpretation is a definitive introduction to the period for general readers.
The Struggle for Matery was a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2005.
"In an almost unique approach, Carpenter systematically addresses the parallel and intertwining political histories of Scotland, and Wales, tying in where appropriate the relations of all three regions to Ireland and the continent." --Albion
"Accessible, scholarly work...offers much of value to beginning researchers as well as to more experienced scholars."--CHOICE
"...a synthesis of British, and related Irish and continental history by one of the leading historians of thirteenth-century England."--Albion
"Although mainly a work of synthesis, The Struggle for Mastery: Britain 1066-1284 makes a substantial contribution to our knowledge and interpretation of the period. Carpenter's book takes its place immediately as one of the best on the subject. There is nothing as up-to-date as The Struggle for Mastery with a comparable perspective."--History
About the Author
is Professor of Medieval History, King's College, University of London