Jonathan Sumption’s history of the Hundred Years–? War, Divided Houses, will be published in September. (June 2009)


Who Was Deceiving Whom?

The Battle of Crécy in 1346, when King Philip VI of France was defeated by King Edward III of England; from Les Grandes Chroniques de France, fifteenth century

The Man Who Believed He Was King of France: A True Medieval Tale

by Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri, translated from the Italian by William McCuaig
Most hereditary monarchies have been plagued at one time or another by impostors. They thrive in societies obsessed by legitimacy. They are creatures of a world in which the transmission of power is determined by legal status. Am I a king who was thought to be dead? Are you a …