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A succession of catastrophes in the middle years of the fourteenth century brought France to the brink of destruction. The bankruptcy of the French state and a bitter civil war within the royal family were followed by the defeat and capture of the King of France by the Black Prince at Poitiers. A peasant revolt and a violent revolution in Paris completed the tragedy. In a humiliating treaty of partition France ceded more than a third of its territory to Edward III of England. Not for sixty years would the English again come so close to total victory. Yet the theme of the volume is not destruction, but survival. France's great cities, provincial towns and rural communities resisted where its leaders failed. They withstood the sustained savagery of the soldiers and the free companies of brigands to undo most of Edward III's work in the following generation. England's triumphs proved to be brittle and short-lived. Based on a wide range of contemporary sources, both printed and unprinted, The Hundred Years War, Volume 2: Trial by Fire is the absorbing continuation of Jonathan Sumption's monumental history of the Hundred Years War.
In the second volume of his celebrated history of the Hundred Years War, Jonathan Sumption examines the middle years of the fourteenth century and the succession of crises that threatened French affairs of state, including defeat at Poitiers and the capture of the king.
"A succession of catastrophes in the middle years of the fourteenth century brought France to the brink of destruction. The bankruptcy of the French state and a bitter civil war within the royal family were followed by the defeat and capture of the King of France by the Black Prince at Poitiers. A peasant revolt and a violent revolution in Paris completed the tragedy ... Yet the theme of the volume is not destruction, but survival. France's great cities, provincial towns, and rural communities resisted where its leaders failed. They withstood the sustained savagery of the soldiers and the free companies of brigands to undo most of Edward III's work in the following generation. England's triumphs proved to be brittle and short-lived"--Jacket.
Looks at the period from 1369 to 1393 of the Hundred Years' War in which the fortunes of the English decline at the same time the French become more prominent.
What history records as the Hundred Years War was in fact a succession of destructive conflicts, separated by tense intervals of truce and dishonest and impermanent peace treaties, and one of the central events in the history of England and France. It laid the foundations of France's national consciousness, even while destroying the prosperity and political preeminence which France had once enjoyed. It formed the nation's institutions, creating the germ of the absolute state of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In England, it brought intense effort and suffering, a powerful tide of patriotism, great fortune succeeded by bankruptcy, disintegration, and utter defeat. The war also brought turmoil and ruin to neighboring Scotland, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The eagerly anticipated fourth volume of Jonathan Sumption's prize-winning history of the Hundred Years War.

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