The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones by Thomas Asbridge
A renowned scholar brings to life medieval England’s most celebrated knight, William Marshal—providing an unprecedented and intimate view of this age and the legendary warrior class that shaped it.
Caught on the wrong side of an English civil war and condemned by his father to the gallows at age five, William Marshal defied all odds to become one of England’s most celebrated knights. Thomas Asbridge’s rousing narrative chronicles William’s rise, using his life as a prism to view the origins, experiences, and influence of the knight in British history.
In William’s day, the brutish realities of war and politics collided with romanticized myths about an Arthurian “golden age,” giving rise to a new chivalric ideal. Asbridge details the training rituals, weaponry, and battle tactics of knighthood, and explores the codes of chivalry and courtliness that shaped their daily lives. These skills were essential to survive one of the most turbulent periods in English history—an era of striking transformation, as the West emerged from the Dark Ages.
A leading retainer of five English kings, Marshal served the great figures of this age, from Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine to Richard the Lionheart and his infamous brother John, and was involved in some of the most critical phases of medieval history, from the Magna Carta to the survival of the Angevin/Plantagenet dynasty. Asbridge introduces this storied knight to modern readers and places him firmly in the context of the majesty, passion, and bloody intrigue of the Middle Ages.
The Greatest Knight features 16 pages of black-and-white and color illustrations.
Thomas Asbridge is Reader in Medieval History at Queen Mary, University of London, and the author of 'The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones' (2014), 'The Crusades: The War for the Holy Land' (2010) and 'The First Crusade: A New History' (2004). He studied for a BA in Ancient and Medieval History at Cardiff University, and then gained his PhD in Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Thomas wrote and presented a BBC documentary, 'The Greatest Knight: William Marshal', and a landmark three-part documentary series 'The Crusades' for the BBC, filmed on location across the Near East and Europe. He has also appeared in many other internationally broadcast television documentaries and radio programs, and has worked as a historical consultant for HBO and Company Pictures. He now lives in southern England.
• Covers raids from J. E. B. Stuart's 1862 ride around McClellan's army to James
Wilson's crashing raids in Alabama and Georgia in 1865In war, the raid is the epitome of daring. Usually outnumbered, raiders launch surprise attacks behind enemy ...
In Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, Michael Korda, the
New York Times bestselling biographer of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, and T. E. Lawrence, has written the first major biography of Lee in ...
The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy
Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas Asbridge—a renowned historian who writes with “maximum vividness” (Joan Acocella, The New Yorker)—covers the years 1095 to 1291 in ...
The English Electric Lightning was the mainstay of Britain's air defense during the Cold-War. Quick
Reaction Alert aircraft were tasked with intercepting Russian aircraft and their high speed and fast rate of climb made them ideal for operation requirement.
When Turkey unexpectedly sided with Germany in World War I, Winston Churchill, as Sea Lord
for the British, conceived a plan: smash through the Dardanelles, reopen the Straits to Russia, and immobilize the Turks.On the night of March 18, 1915, ...
British politician Daniel Hannan's Inventing Freedom is an ambitious account of the historical origin and
spread of the principles that have made America great, and their role in creating a sphere of economic and political liberty that is as crucial ...
Blending high-seas adventure and first-rate research, The Last Shot is naval history of the very
first order, offering a riveting account of the last Southern military force to lay down its arms in June 1865. Following orders received the previous ...
“T.J. English has the mastered the hybrid narrative art form of social history and underworld
thriller. The Savage City is a truly gripping read filled with unexpected twists and turns.”—Douglas Brinkley, author of The Great DelugeIn The Savage City, T.J. ...