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The Rise and Fall of Owain Glyndwr: England, France and the Welsh Rebellion in the Late Middle Ages

The Rise and Fall of Owain Glyndwr: England, France and the Welsh Rebellion in the Late Middle Ages
Gideon Brough

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Owain Glyn Dwr is one of the great figures of Welsh and military history. Initially a loyal subject of the king of England, he reluctantly took up arms against the Crown he had served. Once committed to rebellion, he proved surprisingly talented at leading rebel troops against a theoretically vastly superior enemy. Not solely a warrior, he conceived and implemented a strategy which saw his small, poorly-equipped forces repeatedly defeat Crown troops and bring down the apparatus of governance in Wales. Following these achievements, he held native parliaments and established diplomatic contact with surrounding powers. This led to a treaty with France, after the conclusion of which, he welcomed French forces to Welsh soil to campaign with the rebels. In brief, Owain erected a rebel state and won international recognition. Owain's foreign support was fractured by the intrigues of exceptionally talented English diplomats at work in the French court. This created an environment which allowed Crown forces to concentrate on defeating the rebellion in Wales.Although ultimately unsuccessful, Owain emerges from the era as a gifted and honourable leader, giving the Welsh a figure commonly recalled as a hero.

Author Info

Gideon Brough attained his doctorate from Cardiff University where, for the past decade, he has taught European History, notably on conflict and diplomacy. His main academic interests are warfare, diplomacy, power relations, geopolitics, insurgencies and identity in western Europe, particularly in France and the nations of the British Isles.


‘The history of Wales has too often been relegated to the sidelines of history; this book places the events of Glyn Dŵr’s revolt into the centre of the history of Europe in the early fifteenth century’.
– Helen Nicholson, Professor of Medieval History, Cardiff University

'In this stimulating, revisionist study of a remarkable soldier and statesman, Gideon Brough explores how and why Owain Glyn Dŵr was able to secure French support for his struggle against England, thereby ensuring that the Welsh rebellion became a distinctive thread within the tangled skein of the Hundred Years War. From the bloody battle on the slopes of Bryn Glas to the stand-off near Worcester between the Franco-Welsh army and Henry IV’s host, the military aspects of the story are compelling. But it is in his exploration of the protagonists’ diplomatic manoeuvres, perhaps most notably those of the English envoys who broke the Franco-Welsh alliance, that Brough’s book particularly impresses.' – Dr Andrew Ayton, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hull and the University of Keele

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781784535933
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2017
Number of Pages: 320
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 12 bw integrated

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