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William Marshal: Court, Career and Chivalry in the Angevin Empire, 1147-1219 (The Medieval World) Paperback – 1 Oct 1990
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'A refreshingly readable book'
J R Maddicott, The Times Literary Supplement
From the Back Cover
'a tour de force.....The world of the Angevin court is splendidly recreated, and Dr Crouch succeeds admirably in explaining the reality of the chivalric ethos. For him, the celebrations after a battle had more in common with the atmosphere in the bar of a rugby club than with that of the enclosures at Henley or the ski-slopes of Klosters - Dr. Crouch is adept at finding striking modern parallels'.
'a refreshingly readable book, it makes a contribution to medieval studies quite out of proportion to its size'
' Crouch resurrects a lost world in fluent, economic and readable prose, often enlivened by colloquialisms and contemporary parallels'
'Written in a racy, accessible, idiosyncratic style, which might have appealed to the Marshal himself, it should be read by everyone interested in medieval people, politics and society'
William Marshal is the one medieval knight who had a contemporary biography written about him. He was THE knight of all knights as far as we are concerned today. He is the only medieval man whose authentic experience of aristocratic military life is preserved for us.-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels. See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
I would not recommend this book to someone who had not done any other reading on the twelfth century, because Dr Crouch assumes background knowledge of the history of the period and his book is not as detailed as Dr Painter's.
I also find some of his variations from Painter bemusing, but it is difficult to judge who is right because there is no edition of their source, the 'Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschel' available to the lay reader, in translation or otherwise.
Hopefully Dr Crouch and his colleagues will remedy this soon. It is only 140 years overdue.
Instead of the chivalric hero of battlefield and tournament cast in the mold of Chretien de Troyes, or the often fortunate simpleton of Duby that rose to the heights of medieval society through the sheer prowess of his arms, in Crouch we find a poor, relatively minor-born knight who through valor and shrewd financial self-interest uses both the battle and tournament field to promote his own fortunes, aided at times by pure good luck, which he is quick to turn to his own advantage.Read more ›
I wouldn't put this book above the Painter, but would say read them side by side for an excellent, balanced overview. Well deserving of 5 stars.
Oh, and take the Duby with a large pinch of salt. If you only read one of the 3 Marshal biogs, then Crouch is the one.
Unlike many of these books, and most recently Thomas Asbridge’s book on William Marshal, David Crouch’s volume is a real biography rather than “a life and times” of whatever “great man” happens to be the subject. The meaning here is that it is more tightly focused upon its subject instead on containing numerous digressions and extra pages that add context. In other terms, David Crouch’s book is a piece of scholarship, although written in a clear and simple way, rather than a book targeted at the so-called “general public”.
It is also a seminal book on which many of the more recent publications draw upon, if only because of the author’s major research work in gathering all the charters where William Marshal appear and using these as evidence to supplement and check the contents of the written (and biased) biography of this extraordinarily successful knight. In addition to this, analysing these documents allows David Crouch to reconstitute how and when William Marshall accumulated his landed estates and, perhaps even more importantly, who were his supporters, the knights of his “mesnie” and his friends.
One of the most fascinating features that comes across from this book is not that William Marshall was some kind of “super-hero” and paragon, contrary perhaps to what his (carefully built) reputation makes him out to be but that he was essentially a man of his time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good book for anyone interested in this subject. Well researched, very knowledgeable author and well written. I would highly recommend this book. Well worth the price.Published on 1 Feb. 2015 by Ecobeech
A fascinating true story, wonderfully well writtenPublished on 30 Jan. 2015 by Richard Michael Warren
Well written giving an excellent insight to the period and the sub title.Liked the referencing to sources.Liked the portrait of William warts and all.Published on 18 Jan. 2015 by Derrick W J Spear
Purchased as an addition to my other books on Marshall but not yet fully read as I hope to do this over a period. Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2014 by C.M.Brown
Bit heavy but since I descent from him its a treasure anyway......Published on 25 Nov. 2014 by Jennifer Milligan
Excellent source of historical references, new documentary research and a critical assessment of a major medieval figure. Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2014 by denys vaughan
This book was purchased as a gift for someone who admires William Marshal and feels he does not get the recognition he deserves. Read morePublished on 15 July 2014 by jean whittaker