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Song of Simon de Montfort


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Table of Contents

Section - i: List of Illustrations Section - ii: Maps Section - iii: Epigraph Section - iv: Prologue Introduction - v: Introduction Section - vi: A Note on Money Chapter - 1: A Way of Living, and a Way of Dying Chapter - 2: A New Kingdom Chapter - 3: Love Chapter - 4: Holy War Chapter - 5: An Exemplar of Defeat Chapter - 6: Ruler of Gascony Chapter - 7: A New Enemy Chapter - 8: The Seizure of Power Chapter - 9: The Reform of the Kingdom Chapter - 10: Rule by Conscience Chapter - 11: Betrayal Chapter - 12: Revolution Chapter - 13: Triumph Chapter - 14: Disaster Chapter - 15: Evesham Section - vii: Epilogue Section - viii: Notes Index - ix: Index

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A riveting account of the warrior knight who overthrew his king and seized the reins of power in medieval England.

About the Author

Dr Sophie Therese Ambler is a historian of medieval Europe and the Crusades. She is a Lecturer in Medieval History at Lancaster University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She has appeared on radio and TV for BBC and Channel 4, and written for BBC History Magazine and The Historian. She divides her time between Lancaster and London.


One of the finest medieval biographies of recent years. -- Gareth Russell * The Times *
This is an astonishingly assured debut by an extremely talented young historian. Exhaustively researched and beautifully written, it traces the remarkable life of a military and political giant of the medieval period who has never been more convincingly portrayed -- Saul David * Daily Telegraph *
It's hard to get into the heads of people who lived 800 years ago. This book goes further than you might think possible, by a clever use of letters, legal documents and chronicles; at times, we really can hear this man speak . . . This is a remarkable book: beautifully presented (with good maps and illustrations), finely written and based on a deep, scholarly knowledge of the sources. It's rare to find a story and a storyteller so well matched. -- Noel Malcolm * Sunday Telegraph *
Sophie Therese Ambler's engaging new biography will enthral and horrify in equal measure ... The Song of Simon de Montfort is a well-researched, elegantly written and lively portrait of a problematic figure. Sunday Times -- Mary Wellesley * Sunday Times *
Amid the valley of dry bones, Ambler breathes life into sources that might otherwise seem arid or dull. Her narrative is expertly paced. Whenever the story threatens to sag or falter, she skips over the drier deserts of fact, moving us from the routine to the remarkable . . . From Evesham to the killing fields of the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of the Roses, Simon de Montfort's chief legacy was slaughter and woe. This is, therefore, a song more of lament than of triumph. It is a song that Sophie Therese Ambler sings supremely well. -- Nicholas Vincent * Literary Review *
Riveting . . . a vivid psychological portrait of the charismatic knight through small but enlightening details of character . . . The Song of Simon de Montfort is an engaging foray from a talented historian into one of the most important but least understood eras in English history. -- Emma J. Wells * TLS *
A dramatic story, told here with clarity and insight * History Revealed *
Sophie Therese Ambler is a dazzlingly talented historian and in her debut biography offers a bold and brilliantly written reassessment of one of (British) history's most misunderstood figures - the reformer, rebel and scourge of the Plantagenets, Simon de Montfort. Alive with human detail and acute political judgement, this book marks the arrival of a formidably gifted historian. -- Dan Jones
Gripping, detailed, and ingenious, The Song of Simon de Montfort is a compelling and thrilling story of England's very first revolution. With her beautiful prose, Sophie Ambler successfully crosses the gap between narrative and academic history and brings Simon de Montfort vividly to life -- Dr Estelle Paranque, author of Elizabeth I of England Through Valois Eyes
For such a pivotal figure in English history, Simon de Montfort's remarkable story is one that has been sadly neglected by mainstream history books. Ambler's riveting volume redresses the balance brilliantly, recounting the electrifying build-up to the nation's first revolutionary movement and the emergence of a nascent Parliament with page-turning skill. -- Dan Jones * Waterstones Top History Books of 2019 *

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