The Rise and Fall of a Medieval Family

The Despensers

Kathryn Warner

The Despensers were a baronial English family who rose to great prominence in the reign of Edward II (1307-27) when Hugh Despenser the Younger became the king's chamberlain, favorite, and perhaps, lover.
Date Published :
December 2021
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
20 color illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526744937

Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 272
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$42.95
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781399016032

Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-OrderPages : 272
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$26.95
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Overview
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The great rise and great fall of the family offers plenty of drama and intrigue. Companion title to 'Hugh Despenser the Younger' (Pen & Sword, 2018).

The Despensers were a baronial English family who rose to great prominence in the reign of Edward II (1307-27) when Hugh Despenser the Younger became the king’s chamberlain, favorite, and perhaps, lover. He and his father Hugh the Elder wielded great influence, and Hugh the Younger’s greed and tyranny brought down a king for the first time in English history and almost destroyed his own family.

The Rise and Fall of a Medieval Family tells the story of the ups and downs of this fascinating family from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, when three Despenser lords were beheaded and two fell in battle. We begin with Hugh, Chief Justiciar of England, who died rebelling against King Henry III and his son in 1265, and end with Thomas Despenser, summarily beheaded in 1400 after attempting to free a deposed Richard II, and Thomas’s posthumous daughter Isabella, a countess twice over and the grandmother of Richard III’s queen.

From the medieval version of Prime Ministers to the (possible) lovers of monarchs, the aristocratic Despenser family wielded great power in medieval England. Drawing on the popular intrigue and infamy of the Despenser clan, Kathryn Warner’s book traces the lives of the most notorious, powerful and influential members of this patrician family over a 200 year span.

About The Author
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Kathryn Warner holds a BA and an MA with Distinction in medieval history and literature from the University of Manchester, and is the author of biographies about Edward II and his queen Isabella. Kathryn has had work published in the English Historical Review, has given a paper at the International Medieval Congress, and appeared in a BBC documentary. She runs a popular blog on Edward II and is an expert on Edward II, Isabelle of Castille and Richard II.

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