Cry God for Harry - and the Kings Who Forged a Nation; to Mark the Start of the Brilliant Chalke Valley History Festival, a Leading Historian Salutes the Plantagenets, Who over 200 Tumultuous Years Became Our Greatest Royal Dynasty

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Cry God for Harry - and the Kings Who Forged a Nation; to Mark the Start of the Brilliant Chalke Valley History Festival, a Leading Historian Salutes the Plantagenets, Who over 200 Tumultuous Years Became Our Greatest Royal Dynasty


Byline: by Dan Jones

England's greatest Royal dynasty, The Plantagenets, ruled through eight generations of kings. During their remarkable reign, England emerged from the Dark Ages to become a highly organised kingdom that spanned a vast expanse of Europe. This was one of the most exciting, compelling periods in the Middle Ages, during which some of the greatest episodes in our history took place.

The Plantagenets helped define England as a nation and as a people, but these kings did not just invent England as a political, administrative and military entity. They also helped invent the idea of England - an idea that has as much importance today as ever before.

Plantagenet kings ruled for more than two centuries, beginning with Henry II in 1154, and ending with Richard II, who was relieved of the crown by his cousin, Henry Boling-broke, in 1399. By 1400, Bolingbroke, crowned Henry IV, was not just the most powerful man in the land, but his awesome rights were matched by awesome responsibilities in a complex constitutional contract with the various estates of the realm.

Whereas Norman and Saxon kings occasionally granted their subjects limited liberties, the Plantagenet years saw the growth of a highly refined political philosophy that defined the king's duties to his realm and vice--versa, and a huge body of common law that governed the land. The king was still the source of universal authority, but his power underpinned a sophisticated system of justice and law--giving.

The symbolism of kingship, too, had evolved. The country now had two national saints: St Edward the Confessor and St George. Together, they exemplified the two faces of Plantagenet kingship - a pious, anointed, sanctified king, and a warrior with God on his side.

St George, in particular, would become emblematic of English military glory. 'Cry "God for Harry, England and St George",' wrote Shakespeare, looking back on the reign of Henry V and the zenith of English fortune in the Hundred Years War.

The cult of St George finally enthused England with the cause of war across the Channel and the legacies of each of the Plantagenet kings depended largely on their success in battle.

Edward III learned much about the art of war from his humiliating defeat against the Scots at Stanhope Park in 1327. He gained revenge at Halidon Hill in 1333, and thereafter an English array on a battlefield became one of the most terrifying sights imaginable.

Military innovations that developed in Edward III's reign - his use of dismounted men-a-arms to fight at close range, and mounted archers to disrupt cavalry charges and rain sharp death upon infantry - would earn him some of English history's most famous battlefield victories.

The Hundred Years War gave England a sense of military parity with France and the names of Crecy and Poitiers still ring through the ages.

The revolution in military tactics would later be crowned by Henry V's astonishing victory at Agincourt in 1415, where the image of the indomitable English archer was cemented. The importance of these fearsome bowmen in the development of English myth, lore and legend is impossible to overstate. Stories of archers riding into battle beneath the cross of St George, and of kings of England fighting hand-to-hand with the French on enemy soil, have been romanticised by generations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cry God for Harry - and the Kings Who Forged a Nation; to Mark the Start of the Brilliant Chalke Valley History Festival, a Leading Historian Salutes the Plantagenets, Who over 200 Tumultuous Years Became Our Greatest Royal Dynasty
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.