An insider's guide: Become a Knight. Wield a sword. Join a crusade. Make your fortune.The knight is the supreme warrior of the Middle Ages. Fully armored and mounted on a magnificent charger, he seems invincible. Honor and glory await him as, guided by the chivalric code, he fights with lance and sword.This carefully researched yet entertaining book provides all the essential information you need to become a successful knight in the later Middle Ages, during the period of the Hundred Years’ War. Should you go on a Crusade? Which order of chivalry might you consider joining? What is required when you go through the ceremony of knighthood? Here are the answers to these and many more questions plus practical advice on topics such as equipment, fighting methods, and the conventions of warfare. But the knightly life is not all battles and sieges: there are also tournaments and jousts to enjoy and the world of courtly love.Based on contemporary lives and descriptions, this bookwritten by a leading medieval historianpaints a vivid picture of what it was like to be a medieval knight.
|Publisher:||Thames & Hudson|
|Edition description:||New in Paperback|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Michael Prestwich is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Durham. He has written many books including Medieval People.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a humorous, light read which nevertheless manages to present a great deal of information on the topic; some of which may surprise all but the most knowledgeable medieval history devotee. It is written as a guide for the novice to knighthood or to someone considering knighthood. It is doubtful that such a guide existed. However, it is very possible that the advice it contains was relayed by word of mouth or was undoubtedly learned from experience. The lives and careers of three knights are often used as examples. They are Geoffroi de Charny, author of the "Book of Chivalry", John Hawkwood, the most famous English mercenary of his time, and Jean II le Maingre or "Boucieaut", a Marshal of France and Governor of Genoa. Much of the humor derives from the suggested practical application of a knight's duties as compared to the chivalric ideal. For instance, a good knight is advised to protect women from harm but this advice is quickly qualified to only pertain to aristocratic ladies. The knight is advised not to worry himself over what happens to peasant women during times of war. The knight is also advised not to make dangerous vows to perform valorous deeds in war in honor of a girlfriend. It is wise to ditch the object of affection that expects this in favor of a more sensible woman. In a similar vein, crusading is recommended as a means of increasing reputation and helping to attain salvation. However, it is pointed out that it would be sensible to avoid fighting the dangerous Turks or Mamluks or encountering 110 different types of biting midges as well as horseflies in Lithuania so the crusading location of choice may well be Spain. Some information that might be surprising included the small number of knights in the overall French and English cavalry in the thirteenth and fourteenth century (between 8 and 25%).
This book is just as good as its companion, Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual. I learned a great deal about 14th-century warfare and life in general. All of it was interesting, and much of it was amusing. I had no idea, for example, that Ulrich Von Liechtenstein was a real knight (and he liked to disguise himself too, although he did not come from Gelderland), or that the Scots were once able to sneak into a besieged castle under cover of night by going on all fours and mooing like cattle. Any history buff will love this book.