The Black Death. The Peasants' Revolt. The Hundred Years War. The War of the Roses. A succession of dramatic social and political events reshaped England in the period 1360 to 1461. In his lucid and penetrating account of this formative period, Gerald Harriss draws on the research of the last thirty years to illuminate late medieval society at its peak, from the triumphalism of Edward III in 1360 to the collapse of Lancastrian rule.
The political narrative centers on the deposition of Richard II in 1399 and the establishment of the House of Lancaster, which was in turn overthrown in the Wars of the Roses. Abroad, Henry V's heroic victory at Agincourt in 1415 led to the English conquest of northern France, lasting until 1450. Both produced long term consequences: the first shaped the English constitution up to the Stuart civil war, while the second generated lasting hostility between England and France, and a residual wariness of military intervention in Europe.
`Superbly done, simultaneously exciting and informative, a remarkable achievement in a book of this nature: Dr Harriss writes with a rare lucidity which never surrenders to over-simplification on the one hand or to over-elaboration on the other. Harriss is not summarizing. He is giving us a new history.'
Times Literary Supplement
`[An] outstanding book...Harriss brings extraordinary scholarship to the task of illuminating a path through this demanding terrain. He has produced a survey of stunning breadth and crystalline judgement. At more than 600 closely-argued pages, Shaping the Nation is not in any sense a light read. But as an insight into the complex reality of late medieval life, it is matchless.'
`Erudite and wide-ranging'
`There can be little doubt that Shaping the Nation will not only rapidly establish itself as the first book one would wish to place in the hands of an undergraduate or interested non-specialist [...] but will also stand the test of time as a monument to the depth and breadth of scholarship...Yet this is certainly not just a book for under-graduates or non-specialists; the range of its scholarship and the wisdom of its pronouncements make it a book from
which specialists can learn a great deal. It takes a special kind of book to get it right for both types of audience, but that is the measure of Gerald Harris's achievement.'
The English Historical Review
`This is a grand read: comprehensive, authoritative and elegant, backed by immense learning and thorough familiarity with all the sources.'
Part 1: Political Society
1: Concepts of Governance
2: The King and the Court
3: Central Government
4: The Nobility
5: The Gentry
6: The Local Polity
Part 2: Work and Worship
7: Agrarian Society
8: Trade, Industry, and Towns
9: The Institutional Church
10: Religion, Devotion, and Dissent
Part 3: Men and Events
11: England, France, and Christendom 1360-1413
12: Ruling England 1360-1413
13: England and her Neighbours
14: The English in France 1413-1453
15: Ruling England 1413-1461
Conclusion: The Emerging Nation
Series: New Oxford History of England
Number Of Pages: 736
Published: 9th November 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.8
Weight (kg): 1.13