Last Knight Medieval England Plantagenet John of Gaunt This Sceptred Isle Plague

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,605) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382603475126 The Last Knight: The Twilight of the Middle Ages and The Birth of the Modern Era by Norman F. Cantor. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 260 pages. Publisher: Free Press; (2004). There may be no more fascinating historical period than the late fourteenth century in Europe. The Hundred Years' War ravaged the continent, yet gallantry, chivalry, and literary brilliance flourished in the courts of England and elsewhere. Chaucer wrote brilliant satire, lords and ladies invented courtly rituals of love and romance, yet the vast bulk of Europe's population struggled with plague, economic uncertainty, and violence. It was a world in transition, soon to be replaced by the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration, and John of Gaunt was its central figure. Norman F. Cantor, the best known and most popular historian of the Middle Ages, brings Gaunt to life brilliantly in his newest work, "The Last Knight". John of Gaunt was the richest man in Europe, apart from its monarchs, and he epitomized and surpassed the ideals of the late Middle Ages. From chivalry; he was taught at a young age to fight on horseback like the knights of old; to courtly love, his three marriages included two romantic love-matches; and he was an ideal leader. He created lavish courts, sponsoring Chaucer and proto-Protestant religious thinkers, and he survived the dramatic Peasants' Revolt, during which his sumptuous London residence was burned to the ground. As the head of the Lancastrian Branch of the Plantagenet family, he was the unknowing father of the War of the Roses, for his son Henry Bolingbroke (to become King Henry IV) usurped the crown from Gaunt's nephew, Richard II, after Gaunt had died. He passed away just as one great era gave way to the next: His grandson Henry the Navigator launched the Age of Exploration. Gaunt's adventures represent the culture and mores of the Middle Ages as few others' do, and his death is portrayed by Cantor as the end of that fascinating period. Shakespeare put into Gaunt's mouth the most patriotic speech in the English language: "this sceptre'd isle...this other Eden, demi-paradise." Yet Shakespeare's version of Gaunt is an old and doddering man whose son took center stage. In fact, in Cantor's capable hands, this great man and those fascinating times are ready for their own starring roles. CONDITION: NEW. Brand new hardcover w/dustjacket. Free Press (2004) 272 pages. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Outside appearance is unblemished except that there is mild edge and corner shelfwear to the covers, consistent simply with sitting on a bookseller's shelf (i.e., no significant blemishes). Condition of the book is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf bookstore environment (such as Barnes & Noble or B. Dalton) wherein patrons are permitted to browse open stock, and so otherwise "new" books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #1645j. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: Norman F. Cantor was Emeritus Professor of History, Sociology, and Comparative Literature at New York University. His academic honors include appointments as a Rhodes Scholar, Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellow at Princeton University, and Fulbright Professor at Tel Aviv University. His many books include the New York Times bestseller, "In the Wake of the Plague", "Antiquity", "Inventing the Middle Ages", which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and "The Civilization of the Middle Ages", the most widely read narrative of the Middle Ages in the English language. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Although the name suggests a fairy tale, this historical narrative is in fact an attempt to demythologize John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (1340-99), characterizations of whom readers may remember from Shakespeare's "Richard II". Cantor is a historian and sociologist and sees in Gaunt the last great aristocrat of the Middle Ages, a Plantagenet warrior-playboy steeped in notions of Arthurian chivalry even as that world began its charge into early modernity. Besides capturing the whimper uttered by the knightly classes as they suddenly found themselves surrounded by Renaissance humanism, Cantor paints an engrossing portrait of a complicated figure: a violent, military-oriented man with little compassion for the poor; a dedicated ladies' man; and, of course, patron of Chaucer, whose works would represent the very downfall of his master's age. Cantor is understandably ambivalent about what Gaunt tells us about wealth, power, and inherited privilege today. Readers will have to decide for themselves whether to mourn for Gaunt's world or not. REVIEW: John of Gaunt (1340-1399) was one of the wealthiest men of late-14th-century Europe and an exemplar of the rough and refined values of his class. He fought in the Hundred Years War, was targeted in the 1381 Peasants' Rebellion and was a patron of Chaucer. By his first wife, he became Duke of Lancaster and founded the Lancastrian branch of the English royal family; by his second, he had a claim to the throne of Castile; and by his third, he founded another family line that married back into the royal Tudors. Cantor, a widely read authority on medieval Europe, traces these connections and demonstrates how several strands of European history cross through Gaunt. Thoroughly dismissing Annales emphasis on the continuity of peasant life, he argues that it is aristocratic life that has remained unchanged. In modern terms, Gaunt was a multibillionaire with free rein to live his life as he pleased, whether bullying members of Parliament, marrying his mistress or dabbling in the heretical teachings of John Wycliffe. Cantor writes history that is a delight to read, and he conveys an infectious enthusiasm for his subject. "The Last Knight" draws a lucid, witty, evocative picture of the "still wistful world" that laid the foundation of our own calamitous century. REVIEW: One historian's nomination of England's John of Gaunt (1340-99), Duke of Lancaster and father of King Henry IV, as both chivalry's last great practitioner and direct progenitor of the likes of Donald Trump. Cantor amply documents the Duke's qualifications; connected powerbroker, warrior, proto-capitalist, and heterosexual (unlike nephew King Richard II). Annual rents alone, controlled by Gaunt's immediate Plantagenet family, apart from sundry bribes, tributes, and ransoms extracted under force of arms, would have made him, Cantor estimates, a billionaire (in today's money) five times over. He patronized John Wyclif in cultivating the seeds of Reformation a century before its time, then dumped him on the brink. He likewise sponsored Geoffrey Chaucer, a relative by marriage, to the point where his output also began to sound a little radical to peers of Gaunt's mindset, then backed off. He also loyally abstained from a throne grab when it might well have been his. All-in-all an interesting and informative read which views John of Gaunt in a different light and more orthodox, mainstream accounts. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Overall, I loved this book. It is very easy to read, and is packed with real information that makes the 1300's come alive. The author obviously knows enough to be able to "condense" his knowledge into easy-to-read, yet rich text. The book covers a lot of ground effortlessly. I would highly recommend this book. REVIEW: I find other commentators all too willing to sit in judgment and demand the book have more "facts". Obviously they do not understand the job of the historian to complete a puzzle of the past, in this case John of Gaunt, while having only a fraction of the pieces. If they bothered reading any other books on medieval history by Cantor they might realize he is a historian of the first degree and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject. They might try "Reinventing the Middle Ages" for a starter. It is sad this great historian has passed away. I find his later books such as the "Last Knight" to be written in a very readable style, not as focused on documenting every reference, but more intent on sharing his valuable impressions. REVIEW: You don't know how excited I was to see a new book written on John of Gaunt. Ever since reading Anya Seton's wonderful novel about him, he's been one of my favorite historical characters, and I know how hard it is to get a hold of any of his existing biographies. If you're already familiar with the life of John of Gaunt and this time period, you'll find this an interesting read, just don't expect this 'social history' to stick to the conventional perceptions of John of Gaunt. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $9.99 to $37.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Condition: NEW (albeit ever so faintly "shopworn"). See detailed condition description below., Size: 8¾ x 5¾ x 1 inch; 1 pound, Material: Paper, Provenance: Medieval England, Publisher: Free Press (2004), Format: Hardcover with dustjacket, Length: 272 pages

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