Staff Pick: Medieval History

This month, Yale University Press London staff voted for their favourite book on the theme of ‘Medieval History‘. Find out which books they recommended and why.


July Staff Pick: Two Houses Two Kingdoms

Two Houses Two Kingdoms: A History of France and England, 1100–1300 by Catherine Hanley received the most votes from our staff and is this month’s Staff Pick.

An exhilarating, accessible chronicle of the ruling families of France and England, showing how two dynasties formed one extraordinary story

Marketing Campaigns Executive, Maria Zygogianni voted for Two Houses Two Kingdoms as it’s “a great book in so many ways: wonderful author, accessibly written, weaves the stories of two dynasties in the French/English medieval history”

Speaking about the author, Maria adds that “Cath Hanley is wonderful, ambitious and organised, very good at teasing info from the book on social media and engaging with her readers”

“Catherine Hanley’s engaging account of England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries covers a turbulent period bookended by the accession of Henry I (after the suspicious death of his brother William Rufus) and the marriage of Edward II to Isabella of France (she would later be implicated in his murder). Much of what comes in between reads like the plot of a soap opera peopled by larger-than-life characters.”—Katherine Harvey, The Sunday Times

Read more about the book here


Henry III: The Rise to Power and Personal Rule, 1207-1258 by David Carpenter

The first in a ground-breaking two-volume history of Henry III’s rule

Senior Marketing and Campaigns Manager, Heather Nathan voted for this book as it was “much anticipated and extraordinary in its scholarship”

Heather adds that, “David Carpenter was an absolute joy to work with. When the hardback came out in 2020, in person events were all cancelled but David gave a brilliant talk online talk for Gloucester History Festival which goes into vivid detail about the monarch’s liking for lamprey pie”

People should definitely pick up this book because of “its scholarship and the author’s ability to entertain”

“Professor Carpenter is one of Britain’s foremost medievalists…No one knows more about Henry, and a lifetime of scholarship is here poured out, elegantly and often humorously. This is a fine, judicious, illuminating work that should be the standard study of the reign for generations to come.”—Dan Jones, The Sunday Times

Read more about this book here


Other Recommendations

Medieval Europe by Chris Wickham

A spirited and thought-provoking history of the vast changes that transformed Europe during the 1,000-year span of the Middle Ages

“A dazzling race through a complex millennium.”Publishers Weekly

“A timely consideration of an oft-considered subject . . . Wickham has managed to produce a volume which combines brevity with deep learning, compelling argument and an authoritative and even-handed tone.”—Katherine Harvey, TLS

“This bold, sweeping narrative covers the entire sweep of European history between the years 400-1500, focusing on important changes century by century, accompanied by illuminating vignettes which underscore how shifting events affected individual lives.”Bookseller

“Medieval Europe is a remarkably detailed and readable book, and, at only 250 pages in length it is, unlike the Middle Ages, both brief and clear.”—Dominic Green, Minerva

Read more about this book here


Also of Interest


Special Offer

We are offering 30% off on a selection of our Medieval Studies books until 31st August 2022. Use the discount code given here to redeem your 30% discount online.


Photo by Ember Navarro on Unsplash

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