Medieval Flanders (the lowland region between France and Germany, covered by much of modern Belgium and the Netherlands; the area of Bruges, Ghent and Lille) was a region of immense political and economic importance to Europe at large, and the different aspects of its development have been the subject of an immense literature and an even larger mythology. Within a clear political and diplomatic narrative, David Nicholas presents a survey of Flemish life and times. As the great centre of the cloth trade, Flanders was Northern Europe's main centre of urban and industrial growth and its history is of far more than regional importance. The text includes extensive and lively quotations from contemporary documents most of them appearing in English for the first time. It is designed to be a highly readable and accessible text for the student, scholar and interested general reader.