The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II 1321 1326 (Paperback)

By Natalie Fryde

Cambridge University Press, 9780521548069, 312pp.

Publication Date: November 27, 2003

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This book reassesses the unusually violent rule of Edward II and the Despensers between 1321 and 1326. It examines the social dislocation caused by Edward's execution of his opponents and the confiscation of their lands in 1322 and the perversion of the law which accompanied it. From an examination of a large amount of unpublished material, Mrs Fryde shows how an exceptionally grasping courtier, the younger Despenser, worked with an equally grasping king to produce for the one an enormously swollen landed estate and for the other a vast hoard of treasure. The new evidence brought to light suggests that it was greed for wealth rather than any spirit of innovation which brought the Exchequer reforms of these years. Queen Isabella's contribution to the king's overthrow and Edward's disastrous relations with her brother, the king of France, are worked out in detail and there is a separate chapter on the contribution of London to the downfall of the regime.