Revised and fully updated version of a seminal work in the field of chivalry.A combination of scholarship with quite exemplary thoroughness. SPECTATORA profoundly intelligent book which combines the results of monumental research with elegance and lucidity.DAILY TELEGRAPHThe concept of chivalry is one of the central ideas of the medieval world. It developed out of the unique intellectual and practical climate of the times, and found expression in both words and deeds. Richard Barber's wide knowledge of medieval literature and history gives special depth to his study of this fascinating subject. From the prehistory of chivalry the warrior-knights of early medieval Europe and their developing social role he moves to an exploration of the chansons de geste, the early romances, and the biographies and handbooks for aspiring knights, to discover the early expressions of the chivalric code. In an extended survey of tournaments and of the knight on the battlefield in the incessant warfare of the middle ages, he studies chivalry in action. Aspects of chivalry, the tensions inherent in courtly love and honourable warfare, made the church's antagonism inevitable, but also gave rise to the great adventure of the crusades and the foundation of the military orders, here vividly recounted. Last but not least comes the adoption of the ideals of chivalry by the princes of western Europe in the formation of the secular orders, before the knight was ultimately transformed into the renaissance courtier.
Second edition, revised, expanded and updated.Dr RICHARD BARBER is the author of The Arthurian Legends, King Arthur: Hero and Legend, Tournaments, biographies of Henry II and the Black Prince and The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe.
12 colour, 55 black and white, 3 line illustrations
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(Revised version of the award-winning 1970 edition...takes into account much of the serious scholarship published during the industrious quarter-century since.) Splendidly presented... The book's great strength lies not only in its treatment of tournaments but also of literature; it also assuredly handles the interaction between chivalry and church and state... an excellent, comprehensive summary of medieval chivalry. Warmly recommended. HISTORY TODAY (SEAN MCGLYNN) (Extensively revised to take account of the abundant research on chivalry, some of it Richard Barber's own, since the book first appeared.) It combines scholarship of content with the handsomeness of a coffee-table book. MEDIUM AEVUM