He was three years old when he was named an earl. He became a duke at six. He was first placed in charge of the kingdom at the age of eight, while his father was overseas. He fought in his first tournament at fourteen. At sixteen he led men into battle, distinguishing himself commanding a division in the dramatic English victory at Crecy. At twenty-six, he led the army that crushed the French at Poitiers. At thirty-two, he ruled as Prince of Aquitaine. After a long, debilitating illness, he died a week before his forty-sixth birthday, leaving behind his elderly father and nine-year-old son, the future Richard II.
Edward, the eldest son of England's Edward III, was not known as "the Black Prince" during his lifetime - indeed, the origins and meaning of the name are somewhat obscure. In that lifetime, he was celebrated as the flower of European chivalry, combining bravery and piety, humility and magnificence. Michael Jones recaptures these qualities in his lively portrait of Edward's life and world.