The Knight without the Sword

The Knight without the Sword

A Social Landscape of Malorian Chivalry

Hyonjin Kim

Hardback
$99.00

D.S.Brewer

Overview

Overview

Behind the chivalrous facade of Malory's work Kim detects the anxieties and aspirations of the real fifteenth entury aristocracy.
The question of how far the society in which Malory lived reflects that depicted in the Morte Darthur has always been hotly debated. While many critics have considered it a work of anachronistic escapism, more recently it has been argued that the romanticised world of chivalry and the reality of the gentry community revealed in contemporary letter collections represent complementary but irreconcilable aspects of fifteenth-century aristocratic life. This book challenges both assumptions, arguing that behind the chivalric facade of Malory's work lie the anxieties and aspirations of the 'real' aristocracy: it presents three distinct pictures of the Malorian knight, as landowner, as an active member of political society, and as a representative of a social group earnestly preoccupied with its self-image and place in society. These three pictures, the author suggests, set behind the archetypal knight-errant in the foreground of Malory's chivalric narrative, illuminate not only Malorian chivalry, but especially the mentality of the late medieval aristocracy. HYONJIN KIM is at the Language Research Institute, Seoul National University. The chivalrous society portrayed in Malory's Morte Darthur is apparently very different from the actual fifteenth-century world in which the author lived. While many critics of earlier generations considered Malory's romance a work of anachronistic escapism, some recent scholars propose that his romanticized world of chivalry and the hard-nosed gentry community described in contemporary letter collections represent two complementary but irreconcilable aspects of fifteenth-century aristocratic life.
This book challenges both assumptions by reading behind the chivalrous façade of Malory's work the anxieties and aspirations of the real fifteenth-century aristocracy - especially squirearchical landowners such as the author himself - who faced the world around them armed with practical wisdom, charisma, and instinct for survival, as well as with the glistening sword and courtly rhetoric. As the title, The Knight without the Sword suggests, it is yet another study of the Malorian knight and chivalry, but the study of the knight without his sword and chivalrous outfit.
In three main chapters are presented three distinct pictures of the Malorian knight - the portrait of the knight as a landowner, as an active member of political society, and as a representative of a social group earnestly preoccupied with its se

Details

December 2000
166 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9780859916035
Format: Hardback
D.S.Brewer
BIC DSBB
BISAC LIT004120, LIT011000
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Reviews

A very good book... Malorians will enjoy and learn from it. ARTHURIANA 1. Subtle and learned. ARTHURIANA 2.

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