[Daily article] May 17: Edward III of England

Edward III (1312–1377), King of England from 1327 until his death,
restored royal authority after the unorthodox and disastrous reign of
his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England
into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His reign of
fifty years, the second longest in medieval England, saw vital
developments in legislation and government—in particular the evolution
of the English parliament—as well as the ravages of the Black Death.
Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his
mother, Isabella of France, and her lover Roger Mortimer. At age
seventeen he led a successful coup against Mortimer, the de facto ruler
of the country, and began his personal reign. After a successful
campaign in Scotland he declared himself the rightful heir to the French
throne in 1337, but his claim was denied, starting the Hundred Years’
War. Following some initial setbacks the war went well for England;
victories at Crécy and Poitiers led to the favourable Treaty of
Brétigny. Edward’s later years were marked by international failure and
domestic strife, largely as a result of his inactivity and poor health.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1395:

An outnumbered Wallachian army repulsed an Ottoman invasion
force in the Battle of Rovine.

1590:

Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen consort of Scotland in the
abbey church at Holyrood Palace.

1914:

Albania officially recognized the area of Northern Epirus as an
autonomous region within the Albanian state, which was never established
due to World War I.

1947:

After renegotiating the contract with the makers of her
signature Chanel No. 5 perfume, Coco Chanel received her share of
wartime profits from its sale, making her one of the richest women in
the world.

1997:

The First Congo War came to an end when Laurent-Désiré Kabila
proclaimed himself president of Zaire, which was also renamed the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

jotun:
(Norse mythology) A member of a race of giants who usually stand in
opposition to the Æsir and especially to Thor.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The understanding of things must be based, not on sentiment, but
on reason. There must be justice, not charity. Kindness is solitary.
Compassion becomes one with him whom we pity; it allows us to fathom
him, to understand him alone amongst the rest; but it blurs and befogs
the laws of the whole. I must set off with a clear idea, like the beam
of a lighthouse through the deformities and temptations of night.
 
–Henri Barbusse

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