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Early World History

A course guide for students in Early World History courses

King Henry IV of England, (1367-1413)

Three Armies in Britain: The Irish Campaign of Richard II and the Usurpation of Henry IV, 1397-1399

This work reexamines the political and military aspects of the Revolution of 1399. It argues that Henry of Lancaster was not the "all-conquering" hero of 1399 and that Richard II worked with all his faculties to outmaneuver his cousin politically rather than simply accept his fate and deposition with resignation.

Henry VI

Henry IV (1399–1413), the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, seized the English throne at the age of thirty-two from his cousin Richard II and held it until his death, aged forty-five, when he was succeeded by his son, Henry V. This comprehensive and nuanced biography restores to his rightful place a king often overlooked in favor of his illustrious progeny. Henry faced the usual problems of usurpers: foreign wars, rebellions, and plots, as well as the ambitions and demands of the Lancastrian retainers who had helped him win the throne. By 1406 his rule was broadly established, and although he became ill shortly after this and never fully recovered, he retained ultimate power until his death. Using a wide variety of previously untapped archival materials, Chris Given-Wilson reveals a cultured, extravagant, and skeptical monarch who crushed opposition ruthlessly but never quite succeeded in satisfying the expectations of his own supporters.

Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses

To contemporaries, the Wars of the Roses, the series of dynastic conflicts that tore apart the ruling Plantagenet family in fifteenth-century England were known collectively as a "cousins war." The struggle that ultimately brought into being the Tudor dynasty was truly a domestic drama, as fraught and intimate as any family feud before or since. What set the Wars of the Roses apart, of course, was that there was a kingdom at stake. Since the end of the fourteenth century, control of the House of Plantagenet and the vast territory it ruled in the British Isles had been claimed by.

Queen Mary of Guise of Scotland, (1515-1560)

Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560: a political career

Available at JSCC Jackson Campus
Challenging the conventional interpretation of Mary of Guise as the defender of Catholicism whose regime climaxed with the Reformation Rebellion, this book shows that she was, on the contrary, a shrewd and effective politician whose own dynastic interests and those of her daughter took precedence over her personal and religious convictions. Detailed is how Mary of Guise's dynasticism, and political career as a whole, were inextricably associated with those of Mary, Queen of Scots, whose Scottish sovereignty, Catholic claim to the English throne, and betrothal to the Dauphin of France carried with them notions of Franco-British Imperialism.

The Spiritual Jurisdiction in Reformation Scotland: A Legal History

Thomas Green examines the Scottish Reformation from a new perspective – the legal system and lawyers. Green covers the Wars of the Congregation, the Reformation Parliament, the legitimacy of the Scottish government in 1558-61, the courts of the early Church of Scotland, and the legal significance of Mary Stewart's personal reign.

Scourge of Henry VIII : the life of Marie de Guise

Available at JSCC Jackson Campus
Although Mary, Queen of Scots continues to fascinate both historians and the general public alike, the story of her mother, Marie de Guise, is much less well known. Political power in her own right, she was born into the powerful and ambitious Lorraine family, spending her formative years at the dazzling and licentious court of François I. Although briefly courted by Henry VIII, she instead married his nephew, James V of Scotland, in 1538.
James' premature death four years later left their six-day-old daughter, Mary, as Queen and presented Marie with the formidable challenge of winning the support of the Scottish people and protecting her daughter’s threatened birthright. Content until now to remain in the background and play the part of the obedient wife, Marie spent the next eighteen years effectively governing Scotland, devoting her considerable intellect, courage, and energy to safeguarding her daughter’s inheritance by using a deft mixture of cunning, charm, determination and tolerance.
The last serious biography of Marie de Guise was published in 1977 and whereas plenty of attention has been paid to the mistakes of her daughter’s eventful but brief reign, the time has come for a fresh assessment of this most fascinating and underappreciated of sixteenth-century female rulers.

Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe

The House of Guise was one of the greatest princely families of the sixteenth century, or indeed of any age. Today they are best remembered through the tragic life of one family member, Mary Queen of Scots. But the story of her Guise uncles, aunts, and cousins is if anything more gripping - and certainly of greater significance in the history of Europe. The Guise family rose to prominence as the greatest enemy of the House of Habsburg and had dreams of a great dynastic empire that included the British Isles and southern Italy. They were among the staunchest opponents of the Reformation, played a major role in re-fashioning Catholicism at the Council of Trent before plunging France into a bloody civil war that culminated in the infamous St Bartholomew's Day Massacre. They protected English Catholic refugees, plotted to invade England and overthrow Elizabeth I, and ended the century by unleashing Europe's first religious revolution, before succumbing in a counter-revolution that made them martyrs for the Catholic cause. Martyrs and Murderers is the first comprehensive modern biography of the Guise family in any language. In it Stuart Carroll unravels the legends which cast them either as heroes or as villains of the Reformation, weaving a remarkable story that challenges traditional assumptions about one of Europe's most turbulent and formative eras.