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The French in the Kingdom of Sicily, 1266–1305

Jean Dunbabin

Jean Dunbabin, The French in the Kingdom of Sicily, 1266–1305, Cambridge University Press, 2015, ISBN : 9781107530447, 19,99£

Charles of Anjou’s conquest of the Sicilian Regno in 1266 transformed relations between France and the kingdom of Sicily. This original study of contact and exchange in the Middle Ages explores the significance of the many cultural, religious and political exchanges between the two countries, arguing that the links were more diverse and stronger than simply the rulers’ family connections. Jean Dunbabin shows how influence flowed as much from south to north as vice versa, and that France was strongly influenced by the experiences of those who returned after years of fighting in the Regno. As well as considering the experiences of notable crusading families, she sheds new light on the career of Robert II d’Artois, who virtually ruled the Regno for six years before returning to France to remodel the government of Artois. This comparative history of two societies offers an important perspective on medieval Western Europe.