The standard history of one of the most important medieval kings of England. The fifty-year reign of one of England's most charismatic leaders is rehabilitated in this lucid and incisive work. W.M. Ormrod traces Edward's life from his birth, when the very future of the monarchy in England was under threat, to his death when he was regarded throughout Europe as the very model of an ideal monarch. A revealing insight into the nature of Edward's relations and dealings with his subjects shows how the king was able to cultivate this image; political acumen and elaborate propaganda won the loyalty of his realm. The image of the chivalric court was inspirational in leading England through the trauma of the Hundred Years War, bitter clashes with Scotland and the arrival of the Black Death, which wiped out a third of the population. The grandeur motivated the forces of Edward and the Black Prince to famous victories over the French at Crecy and Poitiers, remembered to this day, and prompted Edward to claim the French throne. As the wealthiest monarch in Europe the king was able to finance his ambitions and foster a culture in which the likes of Geoffrey Chaucer were able to flourish.