For Her Good Estate - The life of Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare

by Frances A. Underhill

For detailed information see the book website


The extraordinary life of Elizabeth de Burgh (1295-1360), known to many of us as the Lady Clare, was described in a 1999 biography by the late Frances A. Underhill, Professor Emerita at the University of Richmond. Only a few documents survive in which we hear Elizabeth’s voice directly – her 1326 testimony against tyranny and injustice, her 1355 will, and her 1359 statutes for Clare College. However, the administration of her estates required detailed book-keeping, and a remarkable number of these records survive. Studying these in combination with official and legal archives, Professor Underhill pieced together a remarkable portrait of our resilient and determined benefactor.

A new edition, lavishly illustrated, provides additional context on the dramatic political events of 1326 – and on Elizabeth’s role in the network of key patrons, at a time of innovative architecture, extraordinarily beautiful books, intellectual stimulation, university expansion, and fine craftsmanship. In the wake of the Black Death, Elizabeth set out an educational vision for the future which continues to inspire us today.

Music was a key part of Elizabeth's vision for college life, set out in the 1359 statutes. She would surely have been very proud of the musical excellence in recent decades. Looking to the future, the new book has been sponsored by Claire Barnes (Clare, 1976), and all proceeds of sale will go to the Friends of Clare Music.

The deluxe hardback has been published in a limited edition, RRP £25 available by mail order.

Price including packing and delivery:

£30 - UK, Royal Mail 2nd Class

£39 - Rest of Europe, Royal Mail International Standard

£50 - Rest of World, Royal Mail International Economy

£55 - Rest of World, Royal Mail International Tracked

Enquiries from bookshops are welcome. For any delivery queries or requests, please get in touch with the Development Office.