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Chapter Summary

Given the length and breadth of Henry II’s military career, one might expect that the subject would be a focal point for historical inquiry. There is a relative scarcity of scholarly work on the warfare of his reign. Such has not been the case with other Anglo-Norman and Angevin monarchs, tangibly evidenced by books such as Jim Bradbury’s Stephen and Matilda: the Civil War of 1139–53, and John Gillingham’s Richard I. Though biographies of Henry abound, they rarely concentrate on his military campaigns outside their political ramifications, meaning that such issues as generalship, use of battle and siege tactics, or overall strategic plans are often glossed over or generalized. Following John Gillingham’s recent call for studies of whole military careers, an examination of Henry II’s story has much to offer our historical knowledge of both the king himself and medieval warfare in a greater context.

Keywords: Henry II; John Gillingham; medieval warfare; military career



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