Theobald of Bec: Morality and Divided Loyalties

Before we get into the nitty gritty of this particular topic, I would like to apologise for my somewhat extended absence! I've been busy doing nothing as they say. So while I do my best to get back into writing more bits for this blog, please accept this as something of an apology as we … Continue reading Theobald of Bec: Morality and Divided Loyalties

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St Mary’s Church, Kempley; ‘England’s Sistine Chapel’

As much as I wish that I could claim the title as wholly original, credit must be given to Simon Jenkins piece in The Guardian in 2008 that called Kempley 'England's Sistine Chapel'. However it is a title that is more than deserved. After having been dragged out of bed by my family and carted around Gloucestershire, … Continue reading St Mary’s Church, Kempley; ‘England’s Sistine Chapel’

National/Personal Rivalries in the Third Crusade: Richard I goes tête-à-tête with Philip II Augustus

The Third Crusade captured the imaginations of its contemporaries and has continued to be perhaps the most famous of all the crusades in the public mind. When you think of crusaders, to most people the image of Richard the Lionheart immediately spring to mind, perhaps Philip Augustus and Frederick I as well. So why did … Continue reading National/Personal Rivalries in the Third Crusade: Richard I goes tête-à-tête with Philip II Augustus

The Survival of Duke William II in Normandy: 1035-57

The twenty-two-year period that this post looks at were, I think it safe to say, not only years of extreme difficulty and hardship for William and Normandy, but perhaps years that while we cannot say for certain they shaped him completely, they must have helped forge him into the Conqueror of popular imagination: a hard … Continue reading The Survival of Duke William II in Normandy: 1035-57

“A Vicious Man”: Understanding the Massacre at Acre

From August 1189 until the 12th July 1191, the port city of Acre, located on its peninsula in the Gulf of Haifa, had been besieged. First by a somewhat ragtag band of approximately 3000 men led by the technically still king of Jerusalem Guy de Lusignan, then from April and June, Philip II Augustus of … Continue reading “A Vicious Man”: Understanding the Massacre at Acre