When Hugh Capet took the throne of France in 987, his kingdom was weak and insignificant, but from an inauspicious beginning he founded a dynasty that was to last over 300 years and came to dominate western Europe. By 1100, France was already the hub of the universe to scholars and poets, to crusaders and the designers of churches, reforming churchmen and monks. Even though its kings were comparatively insignificant figures, 'la douce France' drew people like a magnet. Then, thanks to the conquests and reforms of King Philip Augustus, by 1250 France had become a dominant force in political and economic terms as well, producing a saint-king, Louis IX, and in Philip IV a ruler so powerful that he could dictate to popes and emperors.Capetian France is an authoritative overview of the country's development from 987 to 1328. This carefully updated second edition contains a glossary, maps and family trees, and retains the original book's popular balance between a compelling narrative and a fascinating examination of the period's main themes.ELIZABETH HALLAM has taught at the universities of London and Reading, and is Director of Public Services at the Public Record Office.JUDITH EVERARD is a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and is Senior Research Associate to the British Academy 'Acta of the Angevin Kings' project.
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