Stephen Author Carl Watkins Summary ç 105

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Stephen Author Carl Watkins Summary ç 105 Õ Known as 'the anarchy' the reign of Stephen 1135 1141 saw England plunged into a civil war that illuminated the fatal flaw in the powerful Norman monarchy that without clear rules ordering succession conflict between members of William the Conueror's family were inevitable But there was another pKnown as 'the anarchy' the reign of Stephen 1135 1141 saw England plunged into a civil war that illuminated the fatal flaw in the powerful Norman monarchy that without clear rules ordering succession conflict between members of William the Conueror's family were inevitable But there was another problem too Stephen himself With the nobility of England and Normandy anxiou. Carl Watkins succinctly tells the story of the tumultuous 19 years of King Stephen's reign usually relegated to approximately two lines in school history books in various unintentionally comical ways For example King Stephen spent his reign chasing his wife Empress Matilda around the country but he never caught her The Cadfael chronicles raised my interest in the period and Watkins outlines the chief protagonists Dealing with two Matildas is very confusing and some authors manage this by designating Henry I's designated heir Empress Matilda as Maud for some reason or simply ignoring the fact of Stephen's wife the eponymous ueen Matilda In Watkins interpretation she seems worthy of recognition than history has given herEmpress Matilda appears almost as a byline in the story as it was the changing loyalties of the various barons and Bishops who kept the family suabble going Then there is the sad story of Stephen's eldest son Eustace who was to inherit but who was rejected by his father just when his inheritance should have seemed secure Eustace died an angry and rejected heir predeceasing his father and effectively disappeared from the history books while the name itself fell out of usage too I always wondered where CS Lewis got the name from but Lewis' Eustace of course overcomes his resentment and selfish ways Watkins ascribes Stephen's failure to consolidate his reign in part to the fact that Norman castles were pretty much impregnable by the weapons available at the time and so things went on from seige to seige with no overall victory He also suggests that Stephen was basically a chivalrous knight who having become king failed to step up to the reuired level of tyranny instead continuing to treat his former peers with eual respect From the C21 we would think this a good thing but in C11 it was a disaster A man out of time perhaps

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En's actions betrayed uneasiness in his role his royal voice never uite ringing true The resulting violence that spread throughout England was not or not only the work of bloodthirsty men on the make As Watkins shows in this resonant new portrait it arose because great men struggled to navigate a new and turbulent kind of politics that arose when the king was in eclipse. Good basic account and a uick read I will definitely read of this series

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Stephen Author Carl WatkiS about the prospect of a world without the tough love of the old king Henry I Stephen styled himself a political panacea promising strength without oppression As external threats and internal resistance to his rule accumulated it was a promise he was unable to keep Unable to transcend his flawed claim to the throne and to make the transition from nobleman to king Steph. Eh not a huge fan of this one I don't like Stephen already To me he wasn't the correct ruler but he was the one who ended up crowned But even in this biography it felt like Stephen was a footnote and the focus was on Henry II rather than Stephen himself