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JOHN OF GAUNT
by Sydney Armitage-smith
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From Library Journal
Goodman thoroughly examines the various aspects of the career of John of Gaunt (Duke of Lancaster, son and father of kings, claimant to the Spanish throne). Not really a straightforward biography like Sidney Armitage-Smith's John of Gaunt (1904. 1964. reprint. o.p.), this book instead focuses on the nuts and bolts of 14th-century princely power. In the chapter on warfare, for example, Goodman details how Gaunt raised his retinue, how much common soldiers were paid, and how the pay was sometimes in arrears for years. Other sections deal with Gaunt in Iberia, Gaunt and the church, and Gaunt and the secular peerage. Also touched upon are the duke's relations with Wycliffe and Chaucer. Goodman generally has a more positive view of Gaunt than many historians have had in recent years. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.
-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&I Univ. Lib., Kingsville
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
'This new biography of John of Gaunt fills a huge gap in our understanding of medieval England. xxx;The many facets of Gaunt's complex personality mesh convincingly.
John of Gaunt (1340 -99), Duke of Lancaster and pretender to the throne of Castile, was son to Edward III, uncle to the ill-starred Richard III and father to Henry IV and the Lancastrian line. The richest and most powerful subject in England, a key actor on the international stage, patron of Wycliffe and Chaucer, he was deeply involved in the Peasant's revolt and the Hundred Years War. He is also one of the most hated men of his time. This splendid study, the first since 1904, vividly portrays the political life of the age, with the controversial figure of Gaunt at the heart of it.
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