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How power was distributed and exercised is a key issue in understanding attitudes and assumptions in late medieval England. The essays in this volume all deal with those who had the power to make political decisions, whether kings, nobles or gentry, courtiers or clergy. While ultimately power rested on force, it was enshrined in the law and more usually exercised by influence and by the dangling of reward. Most disputes were settled without violence, if often with recourse to prolonged struggles in the courts, but those who offended against established interests could be punished severely, as the cases of Sir John Mortimer and of Bishop Reginald Pecock show. These essays, presented to Gerald Harriss, who has done so much to illuminate the history of the period, show not only how power was exercised but also how men of the time thought about it.
Contributors: Rowena E. Archer, Christine Carpenter, Jeremy Catto, Rosemary Horrox, R.W. Hoyle, Maurice Keen, Dominic Luckett, Philippa Maddern, S.J. Payling, Edward Powell, Anthony Smith, Simon Walker, Christopher Woolgar, Edmund Wright.
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