Edward I is familiar to millions as "Longshanks," conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (in "Braveheart"). Yet that story forms only the final chapter of the king's action-packed life. Earlier, Edward had defeated and killed Simon de Montfort in battle; traveled to the Holy Land; conquered Wales, extinguishing its native rulers and constructing a magnificent chain of castles. He raised the greatest armies of the Middle Ages and summoned the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom. The longest-lived of England's medieval kings, Edward fathered fifteen children with his first wife, Eleanor of Castile and, after her death, erected the Eleanor Crosses—the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.In this book, Marc Morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England's destiny—a sense shaped largely by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. Morris also explores the competing reasons that led Edward's opponents (including Robert Bruce) to resist him.The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.
Marc Morris is a historian specializing in the Middle Ages. He is the author of A Great and Terrible King; King John; and the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling The Norman Conquest. He lives in England.