Chivalry and the Ideals of Knighthood in France during the Hundred Years War

Chivalry and the Ideals of Knighthood in France during the Hundred Years War

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Craig Taylor
Cambridge University Press, 10/10/2013
EAN 9781107042216, ISBN10: 1107042216

Hardcover, 358 pages, 23.7 x 15.8 x 2.4 cm
Language: English

Craig Taylor's study examines the wide-ranging French debates on the martial ideals of chivalry and knighthood during the period of the Hundred Years War (1337–1453). Faced by stunning military disasters and the collapse of public order, writers and intellectuals carefully scrutinized the martial qualities expected of knights and soldiers. They questioned when knights and men-at-arms could legitimately resort to violence, the true nature of courage, the importance of mercy, and the role of books and scholarly learning in the very practical world of military men. Contributors to these discussions included some of the most famous French medieval writers, led by Jean Froissart, Geoffroi de Charny, Philippe de Mézières, Honorat Bovet, Christine de Pizan, Alain Chartier and Antoine de La Sale. This interdisciplinary study sets their discussions in context, challenging modern, romantic assumptions about chivalry and investigating the historical reality of debates about knighthood and warfare in late medieval France.

1. Texts and contexts
2. Honour
3. Prowess and loyalty
4. Courage
5. Mercy (part 1)
6. Mercy (part 2)
7. Wisdom and prudence

Advance praise: 'Dr Taylor has produced a fascinating and important study, drawing on a very wide range of texts and providing new insights into French responses to the Hundred Years War. That he does this through the prism of chivalry adds substantially to our understanding of what martial culture meant, whether in the dark days of defeat or in the ultimate recovery of national pride. His book reveals what 'the flowers of French chivalry' expected of themselves as well as what contemporary society expected of them.' Anne Curry, University of Southampton