A Knight's Own Book of Chivalry
Geoffroi de Charny. Introduction by Richard W. Kaeuper. Translation by Elspeth Kennedy
"Of exceptional interest for the light shed on the ethos, style, and tastes of the secular aristocracy of the later Middle Ages. Charny's book offers an exploration and explanation of the values and proper manner of life for Christian knights and men at arms by someone who was a knight himself. . . . A real boon to the historian."—London Review of Books
"Kaeuper and Kennedy have done scholars a tremendous service in their publication of the excellent 1996 edition. . . . This slimmed-down version now provides teachers of chivalry, warfare, and gender with an excellent resource for the classroom."—Medieval Review
- On the great influence of a valiant lord: "The companions, who see that good warriors are honored by the great lords for their prowess, become more determined to attain this level of prowess."
- On the lady who sees her knight honored: "All of this makes the noble lady rejoice greatly within herself at the fact that she has set her mind and heart on loving and helping to make such a good knight or good man-at-arms."
- On the worthiest amusements: "The best pastime of all is to be often in good company, far from unworthy men and from unworthy activities from which no good can come."
Enter the real world of knights and their code of ethics and behavior. Read how an aspiring knight of the fourteenth century would conduct himself and learn what he would have needed to know when traveling, fighting, appearing in court, and engaging fellow knights.
Composed at the height of the Hundred Years War by Geoffroi de Charny, one of the most respected knights of his age, A Knight's Own Book of Chivalry was designed as a guide for members of the Company of the Star, an order created by Jean II of France in 1352 to rival the English Order of the Garter.
This is the most authentic and complete manual on the day-to-day life of the knight that has survived the centuries, and this edition contains a specially commissioned introduction from historian Richard W. Kaeuper that gives the history of both the book and its author, who, among his other achievements, was the original owner of the Shroud of Turin.
Geoffroi de Charny (1304?-56) was considered the quintessential knight of his age by his contemporaries. He was killed at the Battle of Poitiers.
Richard W. Kaeuper is Professor of History at the University of Rochester. He is the author of a number of books, including Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe.
Elspeth Kennedy is Sometime Fellow at St. Hilda's College, Oxford University.