Fourteenth Century Crisis in England? Politics and Society 1297-1413

Module code: HS3646

You’ll be investigating England in the 14th century, a ‘long, eventful and often turbulent century’ running from Edward I’s Crisis of 1297 to the death of Henry IV in 1413.

Through looking at a series of crises usually considered to make up the historical backbone of the period, you’ll consider not only their intrinsic importance, but through them the theoretical and actual roles of kings, nobles, knights, the Church, urban and rural classes and society at large in the later Middle Ages.

The themes you’ll examine will include the nature of later medieval kingship, the development of the nobility, the place of parliament (both Lords and Commons), changes in English religion and spirituality and wider shifts in economy and demography. Then you’ll look at the places behind pivotal events such as the Great Famine of 1315-1317, the Hundred Years War with France, the Black Death, Peasants’ Revolt and the royal depositions of 1327 and 1399.

The seminar element of this module will look at both contemporary sources in translation (chronicles, lives, songs, poems, government records, etc.), as well as later interpretations of the events of the 14th century as portrayed in everything from plays and novels, to cinema and television.

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