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By William Chester Jordan

A story of 2 Monasteries takes an exceptional examine one of many nice rivalries of the center a long time and gives it as a revealing lens by which to view the intertwined histories of medieval England and France. this can be the 1st booklet to systematically evaluate Westminster Abbey and the abbey of Saint-Denis--two of crucial ecclesiastical associations of the 13th century--and to take action in the course of the lives and competing careers of the 2 males who governed them, Richard de Ware of Westminster and Mathieu de Vend?me of Saint-Denis.

Esteemed historian William Jordan weaves a wide ranging narrative of the social, cultural, and political heritage of the interval. It was once an age of uprising and crusades, of creative and architectural innovation, of exceptional political reform, and of annoying foreign diplomacy--and Richard and Mathieu, in a single method or one other, performed vital roles in these kind of advancements. Jordan lines their upward push from vague backgrounds to the top ranks of political authority, Abbot Richard turning into royal treasurer of britain, and Abbot Mathieu two times serving as a regent of France through the crusades. via allowing us to appreciate the complicated relationships the abbots and their rival associations shared with one another and with the kings and social networks that supported and exploited them, A story of 2 Monasteries paints a shiny portrait of medieval society and politics, and of the bold males who inspired them so profoundly.

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59 For Philip, see Baldwin, Government of Philip Augustus, pp. 336–39; for Louis, see Sive´ry, Louis VIII, pp. 129–31, 206–10. , on England, Vincent, “England and the Albigensian Crusade,” pp. 67–97. 60 Sive´ry, Louis VIII, pp. 239–60, 363–400. ENGLAND AND FRANCE 13 strategic and tactical reasons did not pursue the conquest of the duchy of Aquitaine and its cities, the last great territory in France under English control. Even without seizing Aquitaine, he added thousands of square kilometers to his father’s conquests before calling off the campaign.

Nor were the achievements of conquest in the west or south overturned in this period. The English failed to mount any effective counteroffensive to win back lands either south or north of the Loire. Their most powerful potential ally, Count Raymond VII of Toulouse, even came to recognize that the best hope of retaining his title and at least some portion of his ancestral lands was to compromise with the Capetians. The French royal army’s relative success in Languedoc, despite Louis VIII’s death, in overcoming native insurgencies and in thwarting more organized resistance made this choice grow all the more attractive to Raymond.

181–204. 77 Jehel, Aigues-Mortes, is comprehensive, if sometimes jumbled. 78 Maier, Preaching the Crusades, p. 69. 79 Jordan, “Cutting the Budget,” pp. 307–18; idem, Louis IX, pp. 25–26. 80 On the royal communes, see Sive´ry, Cape´tiens et l’argent, pp. 140–44. On seigneurial towns—in this case, the Auvergnat urban policy of Louis’s brother Alphonse—see Teyssot, “Mouvement communal,” p. 203. 81 The so-called Protest of Saint Louis of 1247; Maier, Preaching the Crusades, pp. 129–30. 82 Aristocratic support was very considerable (Jordan, Louis IX, pp.

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