38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Excellent modern scholarship,
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This review is from: William Marshal: Knighthood, War and Chivalry, 1147-1219 (Hardcover)
I am not an academic, but I work in the field of Medieval history in my job and I know the period well. I have read all three biographies of William Marshal i.e. the Crouch, the Painter and the Duby. I have also read the Anglo Norman Text Society's translation of the Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal and through other sources I can probably say I know the Marshal very well indeed. Professor Crouch has done a sterling job in bringing the Marshal to life and he wears his scholarship with an authoritative but light hand that non academic readers will find accessible, but which does not stint on integrity. It's a 'proper' biography (unlike some of Alison Weir's offerings for example). If I digress in some of my opinions of the Marshal with professor Crouch, then it's just a case of personal interpretation and agreeing to differ. I would say he is too cynical. He would probably call me over-romantic!
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.