A narrative of events in late medieval France necessarily takes as its central focus individual rulers and the fate of the monarchy. But around the ruler, as we have seen, there was a plurality of powers. An extended royal familial community with its own hierarchy, rights and expectations contained the most important of these elements, and linked to that community were the great fief-holders of the realm. The king and the leading figures around him expressed their authority through administrative structures and a bureaucracy which were becoming more significant in public life, mainly because they provided a forum for interaction with the plurality of powers that existed abroad in the realm. Foremost among this last group, despite frequent reports of their demise, were the nobles of the kingdom, whose revenues, local authority, military training and networks made them a force to be reckoned with.
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- Royal France, c. 1328–c. 1380
- Macmillan Education UK
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- Chapter 3