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Knight in History Hardcover – 13 Feb 1986

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd; First Edition edition (13 Feb. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0709023707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0709023708
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,303,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Publisher: Robert Hale
Date of Publication: 1986
Binding: hard back
Condition: Very Good/Good
Description: 0709023707 Ex Library corners bumped, cover slightly worn around edges

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
OF ALL THE many types of soldier that have appeared on the military stage in the course of time, from the Greek hoplite, the Roman legionary, and the Ottoman janissary to members of the specialized branches of modern armed forces, none has had a longer career than the knight of the European Middle Ages, and none has had an equal impact on history, social and cultural as well as political. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic analysis of the everyday life of a Knight 27 Dec. 1999
By Joe Owen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Since I have an interest in the Middle Ages (900AD-1500AD) I was recommended this book by a history professor, and I wasn't dissapointed. This is an interesting analysis of the Knights in Medieval Society not only of England and France, but Europe in general. Easy to read, analytical and comprehensive this explains the initiation, rituals, valor and hardship that the Knight had to endour everyday. The author(s) have written many outstanding books of the middle ages and this is a welcome addition to the series they have written. A MUST have book for anyone studying the middle ages or the casual reader who picks it up in a store or library.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Highly readable, thoroughly researched 1 Aug. 2004
By W. D ONEIL - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It would be pretty hard to find a better concise history of European knighthood than this book by Frances Gies. Her research is very thorough and she understands the Medieval world well. At the same time, she brings her subjects alive and never lets her erudition intrude to interrupt the flow of the story. In little more than 200 pages of well-written text she traces the whole arc of the knight's history, from Charlemagne to the end of the Hundred Years War -- and beyond into the long twilight of knighthood down to the Victorian era.

After tracing the origins of knighthood she gives a vivid description of the First Crusade. Then she turns to the troubadours and the development of the literature of knighthood, as well as its impact on the knights themselves. Next she takes up the career of a very notable knight of the second half of the 12th century, William Marshal in an account filled with details that reveal his character and that of knighthood in his time. The story of the remaining Crusades is organized around an account of the crusading orders, particularly the Knights Templar. Next comes a vivid mini-bio of one of the most remarkable characters of history, the mid-14th century French knight and commander Bertrand Du Guesclin. Then the story of Sir John Fastolf, a major English commander of the 15th century (only very tenuously related to Shakespeare's Falstaff) nicely illustrates the transition between the world of knightly warfare and that of armies on the modern pattern. A final chapter traces the lingering influence of knighthood in early modern Europe.

There are many well-chosen black-and-white illustrations, extensive source notes, and a good bibliography.

The book addresses the knight's armor and fighting techniques, but only briefly. Combats and battles, too, are treated largely in schematic fashion. The focus is on the knight's character, his views of himself and his world, and his place in his society. There is also a clear summary of the overall development of the patterns of Medieval warfare.

Although there is some mention of knighthood elsewhere, the book concentrates very strongly on England and France; treatments of Southern and Central Europe of comparable quality would be very welcome. Gies does not have an ideological slant or a theory to defend -- she neither "debunks" nor extolls. Since the book's writing, two decades ago, further evidence has been discovered which naturally alters some details, but on the whole the book holds up very well.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The concept, the ideal, and reality of Knighthood. 26 Jan. 2007
By Captain Sternn - Published on
Format: Paperback
Another gem of Medieval studies by Professor Gies!

Within you will find an account of Western European Knighthood from the perspective of the Anglo-French tradition.

The Knight is described and defined in terms of the mounted warrior-elite he was, his training, his role in society, in the Chivalric ideal presented by Troubadors,...and the grim reality in warfare.

Professor Gies uses three notable knights in history as a sample of how they varied in character, in deed, and in living up to the Code of Chivalry: William Marshall and John Fastolf of England, and Bertrand du Guesclin of France.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Summary 11 Dec. 2012
By Dan Mc - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Knight in Historyis an excellent summary of the evolution, maturity, and dissolution of the knight in Europe. Provides context, details, and scholarly rigor to an oft-neglected topic in Western history.

If You Study the Middle Ages, You Need This Book 26 May 2013
By KRM - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you study the Middle Ages, this book will tell you all you need to know about knights and it gives you details that are hard to find elsewhere. Frances and Joseph Gies have written a whole series of books about the middle ages. These books have been a great resource for study, they are "go to" books, if you need to remind yourself of those pesky little details that can mess you up. These books are wonderfully written, the Gies are experts on this genre, and if I could give it 10 stars I would.
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