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Philip the Good: The Apogee of Burgundy

Under Philip the Good, grandson of the founder of the duchy's power, Burgundy reached its apogee. Professor Vaughan portrays not only Philip the Good himself, perhaps the most attractive personality among the four great dukes, but the workings of the court and of one of the most efficent - if not necessarily the most popular - administrations in fifteenth-century Europe. The complex diplomatic history of Philip the Good's long ducal reign (1419-1467) occupies much of the book, in particular Burgundy's relations with England and France. The central theme is Philip the Good's policy of territorial and personal aggrandisement, which culminated in his negotiations with the Holy Roman Emperor for a crown. And due attention is given to the great flowering of artistic life in Burgundy which made Philip's court at Dijon an important cultural centre in the period immediately preceding the Renaissance. All this is based on the close study of the considerable surviving archives of Philip's civil service, and on the chronicles and letters of the period. Philip the Good provides a definitive study of the life and times of the ruler whose position and achievements made him the greatest magnate in Europe during what has been called "the Burgundian century".

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