The Reign of Stephen: Kingship, Warfare and Government in by Keith J. Stringer

By Keith J. Stringer

During this learn of Stephen's reign, Keith Stringer appears to be like on the courting among executive, battle, and the increase and fall of medieval states. utilizing fundamental assets and the latest study, he deals a huge second look of the so-called `Anarchy' and a thorough reassessment of Stephen's skill as a ruler.

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The Norman Conquest had put a check on the Scots, whose kingdom was in danger of being totally outclassed. When William Rufus annexed Carlisle and its region in 1092, he deprived the Scots of territories that (unlike Northumberland) had actually belonged to Scotland since the early eleventh century; and he went on to treat Duncan II (1094) and Edgar (1097–1107) as client sub-kings, partly from a natural desire to extend his influence, partly because as overlord of Scotland he could keep the border quiet.

As for Loirebased Anjou, it had been a dominant power in eleventh-century France until eclipsed by Normandy in the 1060s. But by c. 1100 Anjou had begun to rise again through a remarkable programme of internal consolidation and external expansion. Former Norman-controlled Maine, an ideal base from which to probe Normandy’s defences, was united to Anjou in 1110; at the battle of Alençon in 1118 the Angevins dealt another severe blow to Norman prestige by inflicting on Henry I his heaviest military defeat.

Though this verdict was given nearly thirty years ago, scarcely any attempt has since been made to advance the discussion, and a new assessment is long overdue. King Stephen’s war leadership While his deputies fought numerous separate actions, Stephen in person led great armies against the Scots (1136, 1138), the Angevins in Normandy (1137), and West Country rebels (1136, 1138, 1139–40). Although small-scale operations later became the norm, only in 1148 and 1154 was he spared strenuous active service.

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