Philip II


Phillip Augustus, as this king is better known, was the first monarch to call himself king of France. Philip was the seventh king in the Capetian dynasty (987-1328) but there are no biographies in English of his six predecessors. To read about these six kings: Hugh Capet; Robert II; Henry II; Philip I; Louis VI and Louis VII, see one of the general texts listed in the Prelude page. Louis VII also can be encountered in the biographies of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the best of which is by Ralph V. Turner. See this link.

Philip’s story is a remarkable one, not least of all for his military success, but mostly because his supervision of the transformation of France from a feudal state of middling importance into the most prosperous region of Europe. This is a remarkable recovery from the lacklustre reign of his father, Louis VII, an unimpressive monarch and an unimpressive individual.

Professor Baldwin’s book is the longer and more academic of the two above. It has more emphasis on the government and policies of the king rather than a biographical sketch. Research revealed that this work was swiftly translated into French for publication in the same year as the original English title.

Jim Bradbury’s book is more recent and a better choice for those not overly familiar with Philip. Readers should be aware that he has a revisionist negative view of Richard I and a more positive view of Philip.

  1. Buy The Government of Philip Augustus from Amazon

  1. Buy Philip Augustus by Jim Bradbury from Amazon

The Government of Philip Augustus

By John W. Baldwin (1929-2015)

Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, 1992

ISBN 0520073916 / 9780520073913

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Reign: 1180 - 1223

French appellation: Philip Augustus

Concurrent English Monarchs:

Henry II (1154 - 1189)

Richard I (1189 -1199)

John (1199 -1216)

Henry III (1216 - 1272)

Philip Augustus king of France 1180-1223

By Jim Bradbury (1937-  )

Former Lecturer, Brunel University London

Boston, Mass. : Addison Wesley, 1998

ISBN 0582060583 / 9780582060586