The Field of Cloth of Gold – 500th anniversary

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Throughout most of the late medieval period, from 1300 to 1500, England and France were bitter enemies, often at war or on the brink of it. In 1520, in an effort to bring conflict to an end, England’s monarch, Henry VIII, and Francis I of France agreed to meet, surrounded by virtually their entire political nations, at “the Field of Cloth of Gold.” In the midst of a spectacular festival of competition and entertainment, the rival leaders hoped to secure a permanent settlement between them, as part of a European-wide “Universal Peace.”

Today’s extract is Chapter 4: Right Chivalrous in Arms from Glenn Richardson’s The Field of Cloth of Gold, published in paperback for the first time to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the event in June 2020. The chapter covers the meeting of the two kings on 7 June 1520 and the tournament.


 

The Field of Cloth of Gold

Glenn Richardson

“A deft and thorough guide to this sixteenth-century pageant of extravagance and power” – Dan Jones, Sunday Times

Available in paperback for the first time to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the event

 

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