Read Chivalry by Maurice Keen Online


Chivalry by Maurice Keen was first published in Great Britain and the United States by Yale University Press in 1984. The text of this Folio Society edition follows that of the Nota Bene reprint published by Yale University Press in 2005, with minor emendations.This edition includes a new preface (2010) by the author....

Title : Chivalry
Author :
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ISBN : 9107005
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Chivalry Reviews

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-03-28 23:24

    This is a book about the idea or ideology of chivalry and not a book about knighthood as the practical business of an economic role in society or a social form or a set of military practises.Some photographs of skulls recovered from medieval battlefields serve to show that such practises were not very chivalrous.Earlier chapters do describe the secular origins of the idea and some of the overlaps, for example in dubbing to knighthood., which had both a practical element marking admission into a social group but which quickly gained ideological colour. The argument develops to take in Ramon Lull's mystical ideas, and the mythology of chivalry and heraldry.It stops short of Don Quixote or Orlando Furioso, but I suppose the topics covered here reflect some of their intellectual background.

  • Cat
    2019-03-26 23:41

    Keen does an outstanding job of exploring the concept of "chivalry" in the middle ages. To a degree, this book is essential for a well rounded understanding of the era (it is included on Cantor's Canon of 150 books about the middle ages that every student should read). On the other hand, I'm not convinced that this book doesn't overlap, to a significant degree, with volume two of Marc Bloch's "Feudal Society". Nor, for that matter, was I particularly impressed with the writing style. In fact, I would call this book a snoozer, and I'm not using that term lightly. Keen's basic analysis revolves around three interrelated aspects/facets of chivalry: social, military and ecclesiastical. So, if someone asks you "What's Chivalry?" you can feel pretty save by answering, "it was a value held by segments of the land owning classes in europe during the middle ages. it had different aspects that had various degrees of importance over the time period in question. These aspects include social, military and ecclesiastical." Anything more then that and you'll actually have to read the book. One fact that suprised me was the lengths to which the church went to to discourage tournaments.

  • Relstuart
    2019-04-20 20:22

    A very scholarly book about Chivalry. I expected more stories to illustrate the characteristics of Chivalry in action similar A Book of Golden Deeds but with more analysis. Surprisingly dry for such a romantic subject. More analysis of the times and societal norms than the stories of chivalry in action. It included some interesting discussion on the separation of Church and the warrior class and how the church strove to discourage knightly tournaments because of the injuries and death that resulted. One of my favorite passages was a prayer from a knight on his way to Crusade: "May God raise me to that honour, that I may hold her, in whom dwell all my heart and thought, naked in my arms once once before I cross the sea to Outremer." Perhaps it is mostly romantic because it a prayer of a knight on his way to perhaps die far from home but partly because of the language itself. The folio society edition is beautiful. =)

  • Jonathan
    2019-04-12 00:21

    This is a thoroughly researched book on how the code of chivalry came to be and was practiced in the Middle Ages. Keen dates chivalry beginning somewhere around 1050 and somewhere around 1550. He recounts the historical movements, literature, technology, and people who made contributions to this code of ethics and those who more clearly defined what chivalry actually meant. This latter part is still slippery track historically, but is more achievable as the reality of chivalry is more humane. The chivalry of romance literature is well nigh unachievable. Keen is thoughtful and thorough in his approach to attempt to define chivalry, and admits he cannot cover it all or pin it down to set terms. But what he does cover and what he does set down is worthy of his being dubbed a knight.

  • Holly
    2019-03-21 20:18

    Complete, absolutely complete look at chivalry from every possible angle. It is interesting to see how the concept of chivalry exists even today. The book traces how Christianity, literature, tourney, etc., all influenced the development of chivalry and the men who adhered to it through their particular Orders. Also interesting is what developed through chivalry as it developed and became increasingly complex...pageantry, heraldry, and ideas of nobility and honor. Seems an absolute must for any work in the subject of chivalry and this notion was confirmed to me by a Doctor of Medieval history and appears so through many of its reviews.

  • Thomas
    2019-04-08 22:31

    Despite its length, Chivalry was not a quick read. This partly due to a fairly dry style, and partly to the fact that does not take narrative form. Instead, Keen defines for us what chivalry meant in theory and practice. While some may disagree with his conclusions, anyone will benefit from the wealth of supporting evidence and anecdote.

  • Hildegart
    2019-03-28 19:38

    I found this book readable, but it wasn't quite what I had been looking for when I found it in the library. I had been looking for a different book and got to browsing that particular shelf and ended up with this book instead.

  • Rich
    2019-03-27 18:21

    My most often recommended textbook on Chivalry in the Middle Ages.

  • Chris
    2019-04-15 19:20

    Without a doubt one of the finest books of history I've ever read.

  • Erdem Karaadam
    2019-03-22 22:33

    Anything you will ever need to know about chivalry, as long as the subject is not your PhD thesis.

  • LemontreeLime
    2019-03-23 01:21

    Very nice quick overview of the code of chivalry.