Stephen and Matilda: The Civil War of 1139-53

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Sutton, Jan 1, 2005 - Civilization, Medieval - 272 pages
4 Reviews
Stephen’s reign was one of the darkest periods of English history. He had promised Henry I that he would support the king’s daughter, Matilda, as the rightful heir to the English throne, but when Henry died in December, 1135, he broke his promise and quickly made himself king. Like man of the nobles, he was unwilling to yield the crown to a woman. Civil war and the battle for the English Crown dominated his reign, and this fascinating book examines the conflict between Stephen and his cousin. The campaigns, battles, and sieges of England’s first civil war are explored, including the two major battles at the Standard and Lincoln, which show that Stephen always held more ground than his opponents and was mostly on the offensive. The two sides finally reached a compromise, after 14 years, with the Treaty of Wallingford—Stephen would rule unopposed until his death, but the throne would then pass to Henry of Anjou, Matilda’s son. Full of colorful characters, this is a fascinating story of rivalry for the English throne which throws new light on a neglected aspect of Stephen’s reign

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This book presents a fairly persuasive case that the period of the civil war between these two was not quite the uniformly awful anarchy that is commonly depicted, and that Stephen was not the weak ... Read full review

Review: Stephen and Matilda

User Review  - Goodreads

A good factually sound historical book - heavily leant to the case of King Stephen but apart from the author's favouritism on the subject matter; the information was good and given in an informative ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

Jim Bradbury taught history at Brunel University College before taking early retirement to devote himself to writing. He has written widely on medieval military history, and his books include The Battle of Hastings,The Medieval Archer, and The Medieval Siege.

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