Chivalry and the Ideals of Knighthood in France

during the Hundred Years War

by Craig Taylor

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Craig Taylor's study examines the wide-ranging French debates on the martial ideals of chivalry and knighthood during the period of the Hundred Years War (1337–1453). Faced by stunning military disasters and the collapse of public order, writers and intellectuals carefully scrutinized the martial qualities expected of knights and soldiers. They questioned when knights and men-at-arms could legitimately resort to violence, the true nature of courage, the importance of mercy, and the role of books and scholarly learning in the very practical world of military men.
 
Contributors to these discussions included some of the most famous French medieval writers, led by Jean Froissart, Geoffroi de Charny, Philippe de Mézières, Honorat Bovet, Christine de Pizan, Alain Chartier and Antoine de La Sale. This interdisciplinary study sets their discussions in context, challenging modern, romantic assumptions about chivalry and investigating the historical reality of debates about knighthood and warfare in late medieval France.
 

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Craig Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, working on the political, aristocratic and martial cultures of late medieval France and England, and in particular the intellectual and cultural representations of chivalry and warfare in the age of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453).

Chivalry and the Ideals of Knighthood in France is available to buy from Cambridge University Press