Summary and Info
In recent years Edward II's reign has attracted the attention of a number of scholars whose work has considerably modified the traditional picture. As a result, there has been a move away from the emphasis on constitutional and administrative theory and practice to a consideration of the personalities involved, notably Edward himself and the earls of Pembroke and Lancaster. Although medieval biography is difficult, such an approach has been highly successful - the actions of individuals are seen to be crucial in any analysis of events. However, since Kathleen Edwards's pioneer article in the mid-1940s, the Church's contribution has been largely neglected. In her view, after Archbishop Winchelsey's death the bishops cut sorry figures indeed. The time has come for a more sympathetic appraisal, in particular of the role played by Adam Orleton, promoted successively bishop of Hereford, Worcester and Winchester by a pope who paid no attention to the expostulations of the government at home.
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Roy Martin Haines, FRHistS, FSA was a British historian.
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