The Greatest Knight

The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones

Author: Thomas Asbridge

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062262076

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 3372

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A renowned scholar brings to life medieval England’s most celebrated knight, William Marshal—providing an unprecedented and intimate view of this age and the legendary warrior class that shaped it. Caught on the wrong side of an English civil war and condemned by his father to the gallows at age five, William Marshal defied all odds to become one of England’s most celebrated knights. Thomas Asbridge’s rousing narrative chronicles William’s rise, using his life as a prism to view the origins, experiences, and influence of the knight in British history. In William’s day, the brutish realities of war and politics collided with romanticized myths about an Arthurian “golden age,” giving rise to a new chivalric ideal. Asbridge details the training rituals, weaponry, and battle tactics of knighthood, and explores the codes of chivalry and courtliness that shaped their daily lives. These skills were essential to survive one of the most turbulent periods in English history—an era of striking transformation, as the West emerged from the Dark Ages. A leading retainer of five English kings, Marshal served the great figures of this age, from Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine to Richard the Lionheart and his infamous brother John, and was involved in some of the most critical phases of medieval history, from the Magna Carta to the survival of the Angevin/Plantagenet dynasty. Asbridge introduces this storied knight to modern readers and places him firmly in the context of the majesty, passion, and bloody intrigue of the Middle Ages. The Greatest Knight features 16 pages of black-and-white and color illustrations.

The Greatest Knight

The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power behind Five English Thrones

Author: Thomas Asbridge

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1471139514

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 1446

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A thrillingly intimate portrait of one of history's most illustrious knights - William Marshal - that vividly evokes the grandeur and barbarity of the Middle Ages William Marshal was the true Lancelot of his era - a peerless warrior and paragon of chivalry -yet over the centuries, the spectacular story of his achievements passed from memory. Then, in 1861, a young French scholar stumbled upon the sole surviving copy of an unknown text, later dubbed the History of William Marshal. This richly detailed work helped to resurrect Marshal's reputation, putting flesh onto the bones of this otherwise obscure figure, but even today he remains largely forgotten. As a five-year-old boy, William was sentenced to execution and led to the gallows, yet this landless younger son survived his brush with death, and went on to train as a medieval knight. Rising through the ranks to serve at the right hand of five English monarchs, he became a celebrated tournament champion, baron, politician and, ultimately, regent of the realm. He befriended the great figures of his day, from Richard the Lionheart to the infamous King John, and helped to negotiate the terms of Magna Carta - the first 'bill of rights'. Yet at the age of seventy he was forced to fight in the frontline of one final battle, striving to save the kingdom from French invasion in 1217. In The Greatest Knight, renowned historian Thomas Asbridge draws upon an array of contemporary evidence, including the thirteenth-century biography, to present a compelling account of William Marshal's life and times, from rural England to the battlefields of France, the desert castles of the Holy Land and the verdant shores of Ireland. Charting the unparalleled rise to prominence of a man bound to a code of honour, yet driven by unquenchable ambition, this knight's tale lays bare the brutish realities of medieval warfare and the machinations of royal court, and draws us into the heart of a formative period of our history, when the West emerged from the Dark Ages and stood on the brink of modernity. It is the story of one remarkable man, the birth of the knightly class to which he belonged, and the forging of the English nation.

The Greatest Knight

The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones

Author: Thomas Asbridge

Publisher: Ecco

ISBN: 9780062262066

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 6840

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A renowned scholar brings to life medieval England’s most celebrated knight, William Marshal—providing an unprecedented and intimate view of this age and the legendary warrior class that shaped it. Caught on the wrong side of an English civil war and condemned by his father to the gallows at age five, William Marshal defied all odds to become one of England’s most celebrated knights. Thomas Asbridge’s rousing narrative chronicles William’s rise, using his life as a prism to view the origins, experiences, and influence of the knight in British history. In William’s day, the brutish realities of war and politics collided with romanticized myths about an Arthurian “golden age,” giving rise to a new chivalric ideal. Asbridge details the training rituals, weaponry, and battle tactics of knighthood, and explores the codes of chivalry and courtliness that shaped their daily lives. These skills were essential to survive one of the most turbulent periods in English history—an era of striking transformation, as the West emerged from the Dark Ages. A leading retainer of five English kings, Marshal served the great figures of this age, from Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine to Richard the Lionheart and his infamous brother John, and was involved in some of the most critical phases of medieval history, from the Magna Carta to the survival of the Angevin/Plantagenet dynasty. Asbridge introduces this storied knight to modern readers and places him firmly in the context of the majesty, passion, and bloody intrigue of the Middle Ages. The Greatest Knight features 16 pages of black-and-white and color illustrations.

William Marshal

Author: Georges Duby

Publisher: Pantheon

ISBN: 0307778991

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 4195

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Georges Duby, one of this century's great medieval historians, has brought to life with exceptional brilliance and imagination William Marshal, adviser to the Plantagenets, knight extraordinaire, the flower of chivalry. A marvel of historical reconstruction, William Marshal is based on a biographical poem written in the thirteenth century, and offers an evocation of chivalric life—the contests and tournaments, the rites of war, the daily details of medieval existence—unlike any we have ever seen. From the Trade Paperback edition.

A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain

Author: Marc Morris

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1605987468

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 480

View: 2081

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The first major biography of a truly formidable king, whose reign was one of the most dramatic and important of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale. Edward I is familiar to millions as "Longshanks," conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (in "Braveheart"). Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king's action-packed life. Earlier, Edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled to the Holy Land; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers and constructing a magnificent chain of castles. He raised the greatest armies of the Middle Ages and summoned the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom.The longest-lived of England's medieval kings, he fathered fifteen children with his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, and, after her death, he erected the Eleanor Crosses—the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch. In this book, Marc Morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England's destiny—a sense shaped in particular by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. He also explores the competing reasons that led Edward's opponents (including Robert Bruce) to resist him. The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.

The Knight Who Saved England

William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217

Author: Richard Brooks

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472808363

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 381

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In 1217 England was facing her darkest hour, with foreign troops pillaging the country and defeat close at hand. But, at the battle of Lincoln, the seventy-year-old William Marshal led his men to a victory that would secure the future of his nation. Earl of Pembroke, right-hand man to three kings and regent for a fourth, Marshal was one of the most celebrated men in Europe, yet is virtually unknown today, his impact and influence largely forgotten. In this vivid account, Richard Brooks blends colourful contemporary source material with new insights to uncover the tale of this unheralded icon. He traces the rise of Marshal from penniless younger son to renowned knight, national hero and defender of the Magna Carta. What emerges is a fascinating story of a man negotiating the brutal realities of medieval warfare and the conflicting demands of chivalric ideals, and who against the odds defeated the joint French and rebel forces in arguably the most important battle in medieval English history – overshadowing even Agincourt.

Richard I (Penguin Monarchs)

The Crusader King

Author: Thomas Asbridge

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141976861

Category: History

Page: 244

View: 7062

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Richard I's reign is both controversial and seemingly contradictory. One of England's most famous medieval monarchs and a potent symbol of national identity, he barely spent six months on English soil during a ten-year reign and spoke French as his first language. Contemporaries dubbed him the 'Lionheart', reflecting a carefully cultivated reputation for bravery, prowess and knightly virtue, but this supposed paragon of chivalry butchered close to 3,000 prisoners in cold blood on a single day. And, though revered as Christian Europe's greatest crusader, his grand campaign to the Holy Land failed to recover the city of Jerusalem from Islam. Seeking to reconcile this conflicting evidence, Thomas Asbridge's incisive reappraisal of Richard I's career questions whether the Lionheart really did neglect his kingdom, considers why he devoted himself to the cause of holy war and asks how the memory of his life came to be interwoven with myth. Richard emerges as a formidable warrior-king, possessed of martial genius and a cultured intellect, yet burdened by the legacy of his dysfunctional dynasty and obsessed with the pursuit of honour and renown.

Stephen and Matilda

Author: Jim Bradbury

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 0752471929

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 718

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Stephen's reign was one of the darkest periods of English history. He had promised Henry I that he would support the king's daughter, Matilda, as the rightful heir to the English throne, but when Henry died in December, 1135, he broke his promise and quickly made himself king. Like man of the nobles, he was unwilling to yield the crown to a woman. Civil war and the battle for the English Crown dominated his reign, and this fascinating book examines the conflict between Stephen and his cousin. The campaigns, battles, and sieges of England's first civil war are explored, including the two major battles at the Standard and Lincoln, which show that Stephen always held more ground than his opponents and was mostly on the offensive. The two sides finally reached a compromise, after 14 years, with the Treaty of Wallingford—Stephen would rule unopposed until his death, but the throne would then pass to Henry of Anjou, Matilda's son. Full of colorful characters, this is a fascinating story of rivalry for the English throne which throws new light on a neglected aspect of Stephen's reign

Knights

In History and Legend

Author: N.A

Publisher: Chartwell Books

ISBN: 9780785829546

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 718

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Written by an international team of historians and scholars with specialized knowledge of the medieval era and illustrated with sumptuous images ranging from manuscript illuminations and PreRaphaelite paintings to photographs of authentic armor, swords, and castles, plus maps and a timeline, this book is at once a detailed history of knights and a chronicle of their cultural creations and legacy. This vividly written and lavishly illustrated large hardcover reference volume describes the origins of knighthood, the training and lifestyles of knights, and the vital role these warriors played in medieval military campaigns. It also explains heraldry and the various military and honorific orders of knighthood, and examines the portrayal of knights and literature and art.

The History of William Marshal

Author: N.A

Publisher: Boydell Press

ISBN: 9781783273034

Category:

Page: 259

View: 8054

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The career of William Marshal (1146/7-12), who rose from being the penniless, landless younger son of a middle-ranking nobleman to be regent of England in the minority of Henry III, is one of the most extraordinary stories of the Middle Ages. His biography was completed shortly after his death by a household minstrel and we are fortunate that it survives to give a unique portrait of a twelfth-century knight's life in the early days of tournaments and chivalry as well as his career in warfare and politics.

John Hawkwood

An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy

Author: William Caferro

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801883231

Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Page: 459

View: 7693

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City-states constantly tried to outbid each other for his services, for which he received money, land, and in the case of Florence, citizenship - a most unusual honor for an Englishman. When Hawkwood died, the Florentines buried him with great ceremony in their cathedral, an honor denied their greatest poet, Dante. His final resting place, however, is disputed.".

The Norman Conquest

The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England

Author: Marc Morris

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1453298967

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 1581

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The riveting and authoritative bestsellinghistory hailed by the Times (London) as “a much-needed, modern account of the Normans in England.” The Norman Conquest was the most significant military—and cultural—episode in English history. An invasion on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans, it was capped by one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought. Language, law, architecture, and even attitudes toward life itself —from the destruction of the ancient ruling class to the sudden introduction of castles and the massive rebuilding of every major church—were altered forever by the coming of the Normans. But why was this revolution so total? Reassessing original evidence, acclaimed historian and broadcaster Marc Morris goes beyond the familiar story of William the Conqueror, an upstart French duke who defeated the most powerful kingdom in Christendom. Morris explains why England was so vulnerable to attack; why the Normans possessed the military cutting edge though they were perceived as less sophisticated in some respects; and why William’s hopes of a united Anglo-Norman realm unraveled, dashed by English rebellions, Viking invasions, and the insatiable demands of his fellow conquerors. Named one of the best books of the year by the Kansas City Star, who called the work “stunning in its action and drama,” and the Providence Journal, who hailed it “meticulous and absorbing,” this USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller is a tale of gripping drama, epic clashes, and seismic social change.

Agincourt

Henry V and the Battle That Made England

Author: Juliet Barker

Publisher: Back Bay Books

ISBN: 0316055891

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 7442

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Waged almost six centuries ago, the Battle of Agincourt still captivates. It is the classic underdog story, and generations have wondered how the English--outmanned by the French six to one--could have succeeded so bravely and brilliantly. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Juliet Barker paints a gripping narrative of the October 1415 clash between the outnumbered English archers and the heavily armored French knights. Populated with chivalrous heroes, dastardly spies, and a ferocious and bold king, AGINCOURT is as earthshaking as its subject--and confirms Juliet Barker's status as both a historian and a storyteller of the first rank.

1215

The Year of Magna Carta

Author: Danny Danziger,John Gillingham

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743257732

Category: History

Page: 312

View: 2395

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A portrait of everyday life in thirteenth-century Britain chronicles the people and events leading up to the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede in June 1215.

River of Darkness

Francisco Orellana's Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon

Author: Buddy Levy

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0553807501

Category: History

Page: 324

View: 368

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Chronicles the efforts of conquistador Francisco Orellana, a lieutenant of Gonzalo Pizarro, to locate the fabled El Dorado, tracing how Orellana became the first European to discover and navigate the Amazon.

The Scarlet Lion

Author: Elizabeth Chadwick

Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

ISBN: 1402247788

Category: Fiction

Page: 576

View: 6766

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The Legend of the Greatest Knight Lives On William Marshal's skill with a sword and loyalty to his word have earned him the company of kings, the lands of a magnate, and the hand of Isabelle de Clare, one of England's wealthiest heiresses. But he is thrust back into the chaos of court when King Richard dies. Vindictive King John clashes with William, claims the family lands for the Crown-and takes two of the Marshal sons hostage. The conflict between obeying his king and rebelling over the royal injustices threatens the very heart of William and Isabelle's family. Fiercely intelligent and courageous, fearing for the man and marriage that light her life, Isabelle plunges with her husband down a precarious path that will lead William to more power than he ever expected. "Everyone who has raved about Elizabeth Chadwick as an author of historical novels is right." -Devourer of Books on The Greatest Knight "Elizabeth Chadwick is a gifted novelist and a dedicated researcher; it doesn't get any better than that." -Sharon Kay Penman

King John

And the Road to Magna Carta

Author: Stephen Church

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465040705

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 2855

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King John has long been dubbed one of the “vilest” of English kings. He was brutish, untrustworthy, and ruled as a virtual tyrant—and yet his reign changed the course of English history. As renowned medieval historian Stephen Church argues, John's importance has for too long been overshadowed by more heroic family members like Richard the Lionhearted and Eleanor of Aquitaine. John was a skilled political manipulator, but his traditional belief in the unchecked power of the sovereign became increasingly unpopular during his reign, leading to frequent confrontations between the king and his barons. In 1215, a group of barons rebelled in response to John's repressive fiscal policies. The peace treaty that resulted was the Magna Carta, which enshrined the king's obligation to rule within the framework of the law. King John offers an authoritative portrait of King John and the moment that signaled the end of the age of absolute monarchy and the dawn of constitutional law.

Edward II

Author: Kathryn Warner

Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited

ISBN: 1445641321

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 2650

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He is one of the most reviled English kings in history. He drove his kingdom to the brink of civil war a dozen times in less than twenty years. He allowed his male lovers to rule the kingdom. He led a great army to the most ignominious military defeat in English history. His wife took a lover and invaded his kingdom, and he ended his reign wandering around Wales with a handful of followers, pursued by an army. He was the first king of England forced to abdicate his throne. Popular legend has it that he died screaming impaled on a red-hot poker, but in fact the time and place of his death are shrouded in mystery. His life reads like an Elizabethan tragedy, full of passionate doomed love, bloody revenge, jealousy, hatred, vindictiveness and obsession. He was Edward II, and this book tells his story. The focus here is on his relationships with his male 'favourites' and his disaffected wife, on his unorthodox lifestyle and hobbies, and on the mystery surrounding his death. Using almost exclusively fourteenth-century sources and Edward s own letters and speeches wherever possible, Kathryn Warner strips away the myths which have been created about him over the centuries, and provides a far more accurate and vivid picture of him than has previously been seen.