English Medieval Diplomacy

English Medieval Diplomacy

English Medieval Diplomacy

English Medieval Diplomacy


This insightful survey examines the aims, successes, and failures of English diplomacy from the Anglo-Saxons to the Tudors. G. P. Cuttino focuses on three paramount factors which he believes determined the course of English medieval diplomacy during this often confusing period: The Norman Conquest, the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry II, and the English claim to the throne of France. By examining these critical and central themes and the major landmark documents that they produced, Cuttino concisely defines the main features of English medieval diplomacy for students and scholars alike.


This book grew out of my study, in 1940, of English diplomatic administration, which has now gone through two editions. It is not an account of diplomatic practice or procedure, topics that have been dealt with exhaustively by Dr. Pierre Chaplais in the two parts of his English Medieval Diplomatic Practice; it is an overall examination, a short survey, of what was at stake -- the aims, successes, and failures of English diplomacy during the period from the Anglo-Saxons to the Tudors. Consequently, there are no lists of envoys or treaties and no piéces justificatives. Relations with the papacy, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are dealt with only as they impinged upon the central issues.

Most of the sources have long been available to us, and there exists a formidable number of articles and monographs on individual subjects; but curiously enough, the only detailed surveys of specific periods are those of Déprez, Lucas, Sturler, Russell, Trautz, and Ferguson. I have had to fill the gaps with my own research. This task was made infinitely easier by the work of the authors listed in the bibliography. My debt to them is obvious, for as D. B. Wyndham Lewis, the distinguished biographer of François Villon, once remarked: "Only a fool goes rooting about in the stubble when harvest is laid up."

Emory University


St. Mary Magdalen, 1983 . . .

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