The Sceptered Isle

Ref: C3678378

The course will begin by considering events and circumstances that led up to a fresh outbreak of hostilities between England and France, and the subsequent Poitiers campaign of 1356. We will consider the significance of the engagement, as well as a detailed consideration of its wider consequences, and in particular the important role played by Charles II of Navarre, the ultimately doomed efforts of Edward to guarantee his coronation in France, and the subsequent search for a more stable peace between England and France. We will also make some assessment of the nature of king Edward's administration of his kingdom during the later years of his reign and the leadership displayed by his earls, and the character of his relationship with Parliament. We will also examine Edward's policy towards Scotland and his continued involvement with the Breton Succession War, before concluding with the significant role played by Edward the Black Prince and his involvement in Spanish affairs.

Course aim

The course will look very closely at the major successes and failures of the later reign of Edward III, and in particular his role in the "middle" phases of the Hundred Years' War.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit:
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Provide at least two factors that contribute to the significance of the Poitiers campaign of 1356
  • Outline at least three reasons for the importance of the Treaty of Bretigny
  • Provide an informed opinion as to what extent events of the 1360s helped create an sense of "English" identity.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • A Brief History of the Hundred Years War: Desmond Seward, Robinson Press 2003 The Plantagenets Dan Jones, Collins 2013

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Sceptered Isle

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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