#1 - Introduction
Edward III reigned for fifty years, from 1327 to 1377. William Warburton writes that "the backbone of the story of his reign and times is the great Continental war...He was a genuine Englishman in his rough and ready, and often incoherent policy; in his contempt for foreigners and his audacious confidence in himself and his countrymen; in his love of manly exertion; his personal pride and popular sympathies, and his freedom from lasting enmity and vindictiveness...It is in vain for cold reason to contend against the spell of the names of Creci and Poitiers; they will forever stir the English heart like the blast of a trumpet or the rustle of a consecrated banner; but these battles are not, after all, the true titles of the age to honour. Searching deeper down we shall find, and thankfully admit, that the century was one not of conquest, but of transition, development, emancipation, and characterised by a silent and gradual contraction of the area of privilege, and a corresponding enlargement of the area of liberty." (Summary by Pamela Nagami, M.D.)
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