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March 29 , 2009

The Black Prince


One of the most charismatic and enigmatic personalities of the High Middle Ages, Edward the 'Black Prince' commanded an English division at the battle of Crecy at just 16 years old. But despite his battlefield exploits, romantic reputation, and popularity among the people, Edward has become notorious as a proponent of 'scorched earth' campaigns, or chevauchee. These expeditions amounted to little more than the licensed plunder of undefended towns and the murder of non-combatants. The premature death of Edward saw his infant son ascend to the throne and led, eventually, to the fraticidal chaos of the Wars of the Roses and the emergence of the Tudor dynasty. In this startling reappraisal of the prince's life, David Green assesses his actions in their historical context and examines what might have been had Edward the Black Prince become King Edward IV.

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