In this fascinating new book, Malcolm Vale sets out to recapture the splendour of the court culture of western Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Exploring the century or so between the death of St Louis and the rise of Burgundian power in the Low Countries, he illuminates aperiod in the history of princes and court life previously overshadowed by that of the courts of the dukes of Burgundy. Taking in subjects as diverse as art patronage and gambling, hunting and devotional religion, Malcolm Vale rediscovers a richness and abundance of artistic, literary, and musicallife. He shows how, despite the pressures of political fragmentation, unrest, and a nascent awareness of national identity, a common culture emerged in English, French, and Dutch court societies at this time. The result is a ground-breaking re-evaluation of the nature and role of the court inEuropean history and a celebration of a forgotten age.