I'm into the home straight with this book - and actually finished reading it a while ago, I've just got a backlog of posts to write :) This is the penultimate chapter, all that's left after this is the conclusion.
Chapter by Chapter
Crime and Punishment
Trade and Merchants
Having discussed the two categories of people who owned the bulk of the land in the last two chapters Prestwich now moves on to discussing landownership itself (and the law surrounding it) and land management. He does this in two separate chapters, but I'll cover them both in the same post (in part because it's been a while since I read them).
I'm about 3 chapters behind in writing up what I've read of this book - this summer has been rather busy! After the great lords Prestwich moves a step down the social scale to consider the lesser aristocracy.
The last section of the book I'm reading about Plantagenet England is about the society and people of the era. Prestwich starts the first chapter in this section by noting that whilst society was very stratified in this period the boundaries weren't rigid and well defined (or least not in ways that historians can be sure of now). However, you can divide the society at this time into four rough groups - the great lords (both lay & church), the knights, the peasants and the merchants. This chapter deals with the first of those groups.
In terms of page count I'm about three fifths of the way through Michael Prestwich's "Plantagenet England 1225-1360" and in terms of subject matter I've just finished one of the two sections that the book is divided into. So this seemed a good place to take a small pause and think about what I've spent the last several months reading.
The last two chapters of Part II (Politics and Wars) of this book are about the relationship between England and France during the period the book covers, focusing on the Hundred Years War which starts during Edward III's reign. I'm lumping these two chapters together because the second one is specifically about the English army of the time, which is a subject that I acknowledge is important but am not that interested in personally.