Chivalry, Kingship and Crusade

Chivalry, Kingship and Crusade : The English Experience in the Fourteenth Century

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The central theme of this book is the largely untold story of English knighthood's ongoing obsession with the crusade fight during the age of Chaucer, "high chivalry" and the famous battles of the Hundred Years War. After combat in France and Scotland, fighting crusades was the main and a widespread experience of English chivalry in the fourteenth century, drawing in noblemen of the highest rank, as well as knights chasing renown and the jobbing esquire. The author exposes a thick seam of military engagement along the perimeters of Christendom; details of participants and campaigns are chronicled - in many cases for the first time - and associated matters of tactics, diplomacy, organisation, and recruitment are minutely analysed, adding substantially to the historiography of the later crusades. The book's second theme traces the surprisingly strong grip the crusade-idea possessed at the height of politics, as an animating force of English kingship. Disputing the common assumption that crusade plans were increasingly ill-treated by the monarchs - adopted as diplomatic double-speak or as a means of raiding church coffers - the author argues that courtiers and knights moved in a rich environment of crusade speculation and ambition, and exercised a strong influence on the culture of the time.

Timothy Guard gained his DPhil at Hertford College, University of Oxford. He is Head of History at Rugby School.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 15.75mm | 421.84g
  • The Boydell Press
  • Woodbridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 4 Line drawings, black and white
  • 1783270918
  • 9781783270910
  • 1,235,737

Table of contents

Questions and Perspectives
Eastern Mediterranean and the Holy Land
Spain and North Africa
The Baltic
Constantinople and Eastern Europe
Military service, careerism and the crusade
'All are truly blessed who are martyred in battle': Crusading and Salvation
Chivalry, literature and political culture
The chivalric nation and images of the Crusader King
Appendix: Register of English crusaders c. 1307-1399
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Review quote

It is difficult to do justice to the sheer breadth and richness of Guard's work..[It] is a wonderful treasury of detail on the activities and motivation of English crusaders and their careers in royal service, the practicalities of travel, literary reflections of crusading, the significance of the Holy Land in the ideology of the English monarchy, and much more. FRANCIA

This is an immaculately presented and referenced study and it is characterized by a lucid and engaging style of writing. WAR IN HISTORY

A thoroughly absorbing and carefully researched study of chivalry and crusading in the fourteenth century. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

An impressive and richly textured study. [...] Guard's compelling account raises important questions about the roots of 14th-century English crusading, its long-term viability and the role of kings in promoting it. HISTORY TODAY

[An] extremely impressive work of scholarship, detailed, convincingly argued and supported by meticulous research. Guard's work [...] makes a significant contribution to our knowledge and understanding of crusading after 1291. CRUSADES
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