The Norman Conquest brought French kings, language and culture across the Channel. What did that mean for medieval England?
In 1173 the Angevin empire looked set to fall, facing rebellion on all sides. Against incredible odds Henry II won a decisive victory, silencing kings, lords – and his own children.
Following the death of Henry I, England was plunged into a civil war that reduced the country to a charred ruin. With the barons split between rival claimants, the people suffered.
We ask four historians to consider the reputation of Henry II’s Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered 850 years ago this month.
Becket continues to be an enduring figure of controversy in the public eye. Why was he considered a saint in the first place?
Anthony Dent describes how this rich French province remained a royal English vineyard for a good three centuries.
J.J.N. McGurk describes how Gerald’s later years were filled with his excellent books on Wales and his unsuccessful struggle for a bishopric.
The son of a Norman Marcher lord and a Welsh princess, J.J.N. McGurk writes, ‘Giraldus Cambrensis’ was a brilliant recorder of British life in the twelfth century.
Arthur Bryant relates how Becket’s death, at the hands of Henry II's servants, made this once worldly prelate a popular religious hero.
In the twelfth-century conflict between Church and State, Henry II found his most determined opponent in his formerly devoted servant, Thomas Becket, as Arthur Bryant continues his Story of England series.