This text aims to provide a balanced portrait of one of the most controversial figures of 13th-century Europe and an assessment of the long-term significance of his career. The author describes how Charles I was able to carve out and control a huge power block in the Mediterranean, where he became ruler of Provence, Jerusalem and the kingdom of Naples (including Sicily) as well as that of Anjou. She also discusses his pivotal role in the crusades, as well as his military reform, trading, diplomacy, learning and the arts. The book explores through the life of Charles I of Anjou the international power politics of 13th-century Mediterranean Europe and shows that, as a result of his actions, the political map of Europe was redrawn.
"...Dunbabin has crafted an excellent introduction to the man and pointed the way to much-need further research" "Journal of Ecclesiastical History" "Dunbabin has performed a signal service, synthesizing succintly a wealth of scholarship on his [Charles I] life, (...) and providing a well-balanced account, securely grounded in surviving documentation, which students and teachers alike will find instructive." "English historical review", 1999