Fearless in battle, undaunted in defeat, magnanamous in victory, the knight lived his life on a heroic scale. War was his metier; valour and chivalry his code of life. He was part of Europe's military elite.
This book, superbly illustrated in both colour and black-and-white, tells the story of the knight during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries–from the great victories of Edward III and the Black Prince to the fall of Richard III on Bosworth Field. During this period, new technology on the battlefield posed deadly challenges for the mounted warrior; but they also stimulated change, and the knight moved with the times, surviving the longbow devastation at Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt to emerge triumphant still, his armour now lighter and moe effective, his military skills indispensable.
Thus was the great age of the orders of chivalry and the freemasonry of arms that bound together comrades and adversaries in a tight international military caste. Such men as Bertrand du Guesclin and Sir John Chandos loom large in the pages of this book, bold leaders and brave warriors, imbued with these traditions of chivalry and knighthood. How their heroic endeavours and the knightly code of conduct could be reconciled with the indiscriminate carnage of the 'chevauchee' and the depredations of the 'free companies' is one of the principal themes of this narrative.
Throughout the book, historical events from Edward III's revenge for Bannockburn to the fall of the house of York are used to illustrate a particular military topic, which is analysed in the context of the time and circumstances.
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