Falling from grace

Reversal of fortune and the English nobility 1075–1455

By J. S. Bothwell

Falling from grace


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7522-3
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: June 2010
  • BIC Category: History, United Kingdom, Great Britain, History & Archaeology, European history, CE period up to c 1500, HISTORY / Social History, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Humanities / Medieval history, Medieval History


This original study examines how members of the English medieval nobility and their families fell, usually dramatically and often violently, from position and power in the period 1075-1455. It also considers what those who survived this fall did while out of favour and what some families did to attempt to revive their fortunes. For those noble dynasties that managed to survive such downturns, there was usually an attempt to return to position, if not power - though the road was never easy and, this book argues, increasingly involved sustained efforts by wives, mothers and daughters.

Based on extensive research in chronicle, administrative, artistic and other interdisciplinary sources, Falling from grace spans almost four centuries, from the Earls' Revolt of 1075 to the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, and will be of considerable interest to both academic and general audiences.


List of illustrations
INTRODUCTION: The medieval English nobility and the Wheel of Fortune
1. BLACK BOOKS: Many roads to perdition
2. AT HIS MAJESTY'S PLEASURE: Punishment, execution and degradation
of wayward nobles
3. THE HARDER THEY COME: Estate seizure in the later middle ages
4. LIFE IN THE WILDERNESS: The English noble in disgrace
5. RETURNING TO FAVOUR: The search for redemption
CONCLUSION: The medieval aristocrat, 'Wheels of Fortune' and 'Falls of


J. S. Bothwell is Lecturer in Later Medieval English History at the University of Leicester

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