Originally published in 1986, The High Middle Ages begins in the late twelfth century and ends, not with the arrival of the Tudor monarchs in 1485, but with the destruction of the wealth and power of the Church in the 1530s. The book looks at how the passing of the monasteries marked the transition from an economic and social system based on a balance – however shifting and uneasy – between the church and state, to a supreme reign of the church. The book discusses how the later middle ages were a period not of decay but of rapid change. It examines how social and economic convulsion emerged in a society marked by restless energy and creativity. The three centuries covered in the book mark a key period of extensive change to the landscape and environment of England between 1200 to 1550.