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John Gillingham is Emeritus Professor of History at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Fellow of the British Academy. His books include Richard I (1999), The English in the Twelfth Century: Imperialism, National Identity and Political Values (2000) and The Angevin Empire (2001).
History, like the present, is always changing. Scholarship on the history of the British Isles is currently experiencing a golden age. The breakdown of modernism and the eclipse of both the Marxist tradition and the 'Whig interpretation' that sees all history as progress, combined with the trajectories of nationalism in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have generated unprecedented intellectual activity. In this volume John Gillingham discusses conquests, catastrophe and recovery in the period 1066-c. 1485. Britain and Ireland faced invasion and the greatest disaster to strike the people of Europe in recorded history - the Black Death, yet it was also a time of transformation. By the end of these centuries serfdom no longer existed and there was radical economic change and urbanisation.