Lord of the Pyrenees: Gaston Fébus, Count of Foix (1331-1391)

Lord of the Pyrenees: Gaston Fébus, Count of Foix (1331-1391)

Richard Vernier


Boydell Press



Relates the colourful life of 'enlightened despot' Gaston III, count of Foix, an enigmatic and brilliant figure in a turbulent period.
The reign of Gaston III, Count of Foix and self-proclaimed sovereign Lord of Béarn, stands out as one of the rare success stories of the `calamitous' fourteenth century. By playing a skilful game of shifting allegiances and timely defiance, he avoided being drawn into the conflicts between his more powerful neighbours - France and English Aquitaine, Aragon and Castile -- thus sparing his domains the devastations of warfare. Best known as a patron of the arts, and the author of a celebrated Book of the Hunt, Fébus - as he styled himself - also prefigures the eighteenth-century `enlightened despots' with his effort to centralize government, protect natural resources and promote enterprise. But a sequence of mysterious tragedies -- the abrupt dismissal of his wife, the slaying of his only legitimate son - reveal the dark side of the brilliant and enigmatic `Sun Prince of the Pyrenees'.

RICHARD VERNIER is Professor Emeritus of Romance Languages and Literatures, Wayne State University. He is the author of The Flower of Chivalry: Bertrand du Guesclin and the Hundred Years War.


August 2008
7 black and white, 3 line illustrations
232 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843833567
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Trials and Tribulations
Fébus Revealed
Challenges and Designs
Governing Wisely
Fébus at Home
Fébus, the Author
The Orthez Mystery
Death, and the Spoils
Appendix I: Bernard de Béarn, Count of Medinaceli


Provides a useful addition to the secondary literature in English, a well-written account of the man and a perceptive overview of his times. SPECULUM
As is typical of this publisher, the volume is beautifully produced and bound. (...) This is a scholarly history but because Vernier is a gifted story-teller, the volume will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the Middle Ages. SCITECH BOOKS

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