After the dramatic events of last week’s episode, Professor Robert Bartlett continues his investigation into England’s longest ruling dynasty in the second installment of this BBC Two series, The Plantagenets.
Professor Bartlett discovers how the later Plantagenet Kings strove to reclaim their lost lands and enlarge their influence over the British Isles through numerous battles, violence and bloodshed, after the loss of the Angevin Empire in the thirteenth century.
He then turns away from the gore of medieval warfare, and focuses on the elements of the Middle Ages that can be argued as more important than the wars themselves. Bartlett looks at the establishment of the first Parliament, the adoption of the title of the Prince of Wales, the development of national identity, and the creation of the symbol of England; the St George cross.
He highlights to audiences the significance of when the aristocracy began to cease using French as the language of the nobility in the middle of the fourteenth century, and discusses the age of chivalry and the creation of the Order of the Garter.
An English Empire will be broadcasted on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday 24th March and will be available to watch online soon after the episode airs.
The second episode of the series was produced and directed by David Vincent.
Photo credit: BBC/Jamie Simpson