KNIGHTS IN HISTORY AND LEGEND


KNIGHTS IN HISTORY AND LEGEND

EDITED BY BRITTAIN BOUCHARD    Book Number: 89395    Product format: Hardback

The chivalric ideals of knighthood have been celebrated for almost 1000 years, from the medieval stories of King Arthur to Victorian paintings where handsome warriors woo gorgeous maidens with luxuriant red hair. Medieval knights were warriors, but they were of higher status than ordinary soldiers and ultimately became the European ruling class. Knighthood was a "complex and composite slice of medieval society" and this big and lavishly illustrated book explores its many facets with an authoritative text accompanied by hundreds of colour reproductions. Knights were fighting men and mobility was the key to success in battle, with the warhorse becoming as much part of the legend as the man himself. Castles were central to the knightly world, and taking a castle would secure victory, often by using an escalade or ladder to storm the walls. Armour included the versatile small shield known as the buckler which could be swished around, giving rise to our word swashbuckling. Within this culture of violence was an emphasis on love, not only towards women but in such matters as the honourable treatment of prisoners, with Chaucer's "gentil knight" at the pinnacle of noble behaviour. A knight could sing, play chess, would wear quality clothing and knew how to handle his food at a banquet. Courtly love remains controversial even now, with scholars disagreeing about whether it involved an adulterous liaison. Historical sections cover the Albigensian Crusade, the Hundred Years' War in which Joan of Arc made her mark as a female knight, and the decline of knighthood at the end of the Middle Ages, when new technology and economic factors reduced knights to the level of ordinary soldiers. 304pp, large hardback, timeline, illustrated in colour on every page.
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Published price: £19.99
Bibliophile price: £4.50


Additional product information

ISBN 9781740480284
Browse these categories as well: History, Mythology

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