- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-2725-9
- Pages: 184
- Publisher: Manchester University Press
- Price: £18.00
- Published Date: June 2018
- BIC Category: Medieval History, History, History & Archaeology, European history: medieval period, middle ages, CE period up to c 1500, HISTORY / Medieval, Humanities / Medieval history
- Series: Manchester Medieval Studies
Crusading kings such as Louis IX of France and Richard I of England exert a unique hold on our historical imagination. For this reason, it can be easy to forget that European rulers were not always eager participants in holy war. The First Crusade was launched in 1095, and yet the first monarch did not join the movement until 1146, when the French king Louis VII took the cross to lead the Second Crusade. One contemporary went so far as to compare the crusades to 'Creation and man's redemption on the cross', so what impact did fifty years of non-participation have on the image and practice of European kingship and the parameters of cultural development? Constructing kingship considers this question by examining the challenge to political authority that confronted the French kings and their family members as a direct result of their failure to join the early crusades, and their less-than-impressive involvement in later ones.
'Constructing Kingship is a valuable book which engages seriously with a theme, the impact of the crusades on royal action and ideology, which has been, as Naus points out (pp. 6-7), overlooked for far too long. Its central thesis is a stimulating argument which will hopefully inspire further research on this topic, and throughout the book Naus highlights many fascinating links between the crusades and the Capetian monarchy which are rarely considered together. The highlight of the book is undoubtedly the third chapter's marvellous textual analysis of Suger's Gesta Ludovici Grossi, which sheds important new light on one of 12th-century France's most important narrative sources.'
Mr Niall Ó Súilleabháin, Trinity College Dublin, Reviews in History
'Naus has put his stamp on this most critical topic, and his book will now serve as a starting point for discussion of it.'
Jay Rubenstein, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, H-France Review Vol. 17 (February 2017), No. 34
'A book that will be of use to students of kingship, holy war, and the cultural tumult of the central Middle Ages.'
Matthew Gabriele, Medieval Review
James Naus is Associate Professor of History at Oakland University
Part I: Crisis
1 Framing the Capetian Miracle
2 The First Crusade and the new economy of status, 1095-1110
Part II: Response
3 Suger of Saint-Denis and the ideology of crusade
4 Louis VII and the failure of crusade
5 Philip Augustus, political circumstance and crusade