From the Author
A few words on how this book was made
Armies of Medieval Burgundy 1364-1477 deals with the military organisation of Burgundy under the Valois dukes, who reigned between the two dates of the title. The book is particularly aimed at students of costume and military equipment of this period. Although it is largely derived from secondary sources, I also used a few primary sources, particularly the ordinances of Charles the Bold, and the ducal accounting records. Since I live in Geneva, it was easy for me to visit "old" Burgundy, and I spent many enjoyable hours trying to reconstruct the siege of Vellexon, which is mentioned in the book. This sort of research is not feasible for professional students since it is of such minor interest: it is the sort of project carried out by people such as local historians, who have a purely amateur or personal interest - which to my mind makes it all the more enthalling.
Gerry Embleton is perhaps the foremost illustrator of historical costume. The colour plates were constructed with very great care, and contain details that are probably evident only to the authors! For instance, the plate depicting the siege of Vellexon has the ground littered with Autumn leaves, since the event occurred at that time of the year. The clerk who is taking an inventory is wearing a pair of spectacles that were current at this time. In the last plate, depicting looting soldiers, all the figures are wearing the red Saint Andrew cross of Burgundy, but on one figure you can just make out the traces of a rectangular cross, showing that the soldier had formerly fought in the English armies. It is a rule of ours that any item in an illustration should be verifiable in a primary source, and it is really great fun to construct scenes under these conditions. By the way, the portly figure in the tournament plate is a self-portrait of Gerry!