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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The last war between Henry VIII and Francis I, which formally began in July 1543 and ended in June 1546, seems at first a postscript to the long series of conflicts generated by feudal claims and national rivalries in the later middle ages and fuelled by competitive emulation of Renaissance princes in the sixteenth century. The purpose of this book is to show that, in fact, it was a far wider and more destructive conflict than it looks at first sight and had long-term implications. This was the most serious and destructive war between France and England in the reigns of Henry VIII and Francis I. If the evidence for dearth and mortality seems impressionistic, it is confirmed by many of the price indices that we have for the period. The politico-religious upheavals of 1536 had then weakened Henry VIII's capacity to make war.

Keywords: England; France; Francis I; Henry VIII; Renaissance princes; sixteenth century

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