Craig Taylor
Reader in Medieval History



MA, DPhil (Oxon)

Craig Taylor is a Reader in Medieval History, Chair of the Centre for Medieval Studies, and a Fellow of both the Société de l'Histoire de France and the Royal Historical Society.

He is also the Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies





Craig studies the political, aristocratic and martial cultures of late medieval France and England, and in particular the intellectual and cultural debates about chivalry, warfare and politics in the age of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453).

His research follows in the footsteps of his DPhil supervisor, Mr. Peter S. Lewis, engaging with the difficult problem of relating the writings and ideas of intellectuals to the mentalities and practices of the ruling elite. To do this, Craig explores medieval texts across a broad range of genres (manuals of chivalry and of war, mirrors for princes, chronicles and biographies, romances and chanson de geste), aiming to contextualize them both historically and within their manuscript history, and hence develop a sophisticated understanding of the influence of 'historical' and 'literary' texts upon political agents (and vice versa). In recent years, Craig has also been engaging with both comparative historical perspectives on martial culture and useful insights offered by anthropologists, sociologists, economists and psychologists on themes like honour, trust, reciprocity, masculinity and emotion.

Craig has just completed a book entitled Chivalry, Honour and Knighthood in Late Medieval France (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and is now finishing a monograph on Christine de Pizan’s views on aristocratic masculinity, warfare and chivalry. After that he will be writing a book on the Hundred Years War, and is also working with Professor Jane Taylor (University of Durham) to publish translations of a series of chivalric biographies, starting with Jean II Le Meingre, dit Boucicaut and then Jacques de Lalaing and Jean de Bueil.

Craig is a co-investigator (20%) on a major AHRC-funded project on England’s Immigrants which runs until February 2015, and which is led by Professor Mark Ormrod.

Since January 2011, Craig has presented talks at the University of York and the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, MI, and has also been an invited speaker at the following conferences:

  • Structure, Change and Discourse in Pre-Industrial Europe: Towards a Cross-Disciplinary Study of Social Inequalities (Universities of Antwerp and Ghent, 8-9 April 2011)
  • The Representation of Warfare in the Middle Ages (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bergen, 7-8 September 2011)
  • Au-delà des miroirs: la littérature politique dans la France de Charles VI et Charles VII (Université Paul Verlaine - Metz, 15-16 September 2011)
  • Romance in Medieval Britain (University of Oxford, 24-26 March 2012)
  • Mediaeval Warfare: Laws and Limits (University of St. Andrews, 2 June 2012)
  • The Writing and Representation of War (Nyborg Slot, Denmark, 7-9 September 2012)
  • The Hundred Years' War: A Century of Conflict Re-evaluated (Tower of London, 29 September 2012)
  • The Vernacular in Medieval Historical Writing (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bergen, 16-17 November 2012)
  • Le livre des fais d'armes et de chevalerie de Christine de Pizan (Université de Paris III, 21 March 2013)
  • Representing War and Violence in the Pre-Modern World (University of Cambridge, 23-24 September 2013)
  • In Form of War: Emotions and Warfare in Writing, 1300-1820 (University of Western Australia, 27-28 June 2014)
  • The Plantagenet Empire, 1259-1453 (31st Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, 15-18 July 2014)


Craig's current PhD students are:

  • Chris Linsley, France, the French and the National Other in Thomas Walsingham's Chronica Maiora (1376-1422) and Ypodigma Nuestrie (2012-)
  • Erika Graham, Brittany During the War of Succession, 1341-1364 (2012-)
  • Justin Sturgeon, The Illuminated Manuscripts of Louis de Bruges (c.1427-1492), Lord of Gruuthuyse (2011-, co-supervised by Dr. Jeanne Nuechterlein)
  • Kristin Bourassa, “L’instruction et doctrine en bonne meurs”: Mirrors for Princes and Charles VI of France (2010-)
  • Lauren Bowers, Diplomatic relations between England and Eastern Europe During the Fifteenth-Century (2012-)

Students who have worked on doctoral research projects with Craig in the past include:

  • Carolyn Donohue, Public display and the construction of monarchy in Yorkist England, 1460-1485 (completed, 2014)
  • Catherine Nall, The Production and Reception of Military Texts in the Aftermath of the Hundred Years War (completed, 2005)
  • Deborah Thorpe, Writing and Reading in the Circle of Sir John Fastolf (completed, 2011)
  • Emily Hutchison, "Pour le bien du roy et de son royaulme”: Burgundian Propaganda under John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, 1405-1419 (completed, 2006)
  • Rachael Whitbread, Tournaments, Jousts and Duels: Formal Combat in England and France, c.1380-1440  (completed 2014)

In addition, Craig has supervised a large number of MA dissertations, including recent examples such such as:

  • Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers and Lord Scales (d.1483)
  • Attainder and Treason in the Reign of Richard III
  • Charles de Blois (d.1364): A life and afterlife
  • Chivalry, Government and Warfare in Yorkist England
  • Chivalry in Thomas Gray's Scalachronica
  • Christine de Pizan's Response to Civil War in Early Fifteenth-Century France (1405-1413)
  • Constance de Rabastens and the Livre de Révélations
  • Dubbing to Knighthood in Three Chivalric Works, c.1200 – c.1350
  • English Diplomacy and the Anglo-French Peace Negotiations During the Reign of Henry VI
  • Honour and Violence in Fourteenth-Century England
  • Le debat des heraulx d’armes de France et d’Angleterre
  • Memorialising the Battle of Towton (1460)
  • Mercy in the Lancastrian Discourse of the Wars of the Roses
  • Popular Politics and the Earl of Warwick, 1450-1471
  • Prophecy in the chronicle of Adam Usk
  • Self-Censorship and Allusion in Thomas Walsingham’s Lancastrian Chronicles
  • Shame and Reputation in Christine de Pizan’s Livre des trois vertus and the Geoffroi de La Tour Landry
  • The Beauchamp Pageant, John Blacman’s Henry VI and the Reburial of Richard, Duke of York
  • Violence and warfare in Froissart’s Chronicles: 1386-1391




Contact details

Dr Craig Taylor
King’s Manor KG/82
Department of History
University of York
King's Manor

Tel: Internal 4976, External (01904) 324976