David Crouch’s William Marshal, now in its third edition, depicts this intriguing medieval figure as a ruthless opportunist, astute courtier, manipulative politician and a brutal but efficient soldier. Born the fourth son of a minor baron, he ended his days as Earl of Pembroke and Regent of England, and was the only medieval knight to have a contemporary biography written about him. Using this biography in addition to the many other primary sources dedicated to him, the author provides a narrative of William Marshal and a survey of the times in which he lived and also considers the problems and questions posed by the History.
The third edition has been extensively updated and revised, and now includes:
- expanded sections on the reality of medieval tournaments and warfare as it is described in the biography
- an in-depth study of Marshal’s family life and children based on the latest research including material from the new edition of the Marshal family acts and letters
- more on Marshal’s royal patrons and contemporaries, in particular the relationship between Marshal and his nemesis, King John.
William Marshal explores the world of medieval knighthood and the the aristocratic life of the times in engaging, readable prose, and is a unique resource for students of medieval history.
Table of Contents
LIST OF MAPS, GENEALOGICAL TABLES AND ILLUSTRATIONS PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION ABBREVIATIONS INTRODUCTION The Biography and Its Author Old Work and New Questions The Problems of the Sources chapter 1 CHILDHOOD AND SQUIREHOOD John Marshal: Father and Son William de Tancarville: the ‘Good Master’ The Education of William Marshal chapter 2 THE HOUSEHOLD KNIGHT The Device of Tancarville Patrick, Earl of Salisbury At the Court of the Young King Rebellion and Disfavour On the Tournament Circuit Losengiers and Lèse Majesté chapter 3 THE MAKING OF A MAGNATE, 1183–1190 Death in Limoges In The East Captain of the Guard The Last Days of Henry ii Lord of Striguil chapter 4 THE RISE OF THE MARSHALS Count John of Mortain England without Richard Richard’s Captain and Courtier chapter 5 EARL OF PEMBROKE AND LORD OF LEINSTER Crossing to Ireland Losing Normandy Fall from Grace In the Cold, 1205-1207 King John’s Plan for Ireland The Leinster Crisis, 1206-1208 chapter 6 THE DUEL WITH KING JOHN The Irish War of 1210 The Road Back to Favour Magna Carta The Barons’ War chapter 7 THE SAVIOUR OF THE ANGEVIN DYNASTY The Marshal Coup The Revival of Magna Carta The Battle of Lincoln (1217) The Departure of Louis of France Making Government Pay Resignation, Death and Afterwards chapter 8 THE MARSHAL AND HIS SOCIETY The Courtly World of the Marshal The Preudomme The Tournament Mentality On the Circuit The Après Tournoi chapter 9 THE MARSHAL AT WAR Dressing the Part The Warrior Preudomme chapter 10 LOVE AND LORDSHIP Love and Loyalty Lordship and Affinity The Marshal and Money chapter 11 THE MARSHAL’S MEN The Knights The Clerks The Hidden Household chapter 12 LA BONE FIN VA TOUT Spirituality Supporting the Church Dying to the World appendix i THE KNIGHTS OF WILLIAM MARSHAL appendix ii THE MARSHAL AND THE EARL MARSHAL GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY MAPS INDEX
David Crouch is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Hull and a Fellow of the British Academy. His recent publications include The English Aristocracy, 1070-1272: A Social Transformation4 (2011), Lost Letters of Medieval Life (2013) and The Acts and Letters of the Marshal Family, Marshals of England and Earls of Pembroke 1145-1248 (2015).
"David Crouch’s third edition of the life and times of William Marshal further extends our knowledge of this significant man and his society. His scholarship on the significance and relevance of the concept of courtoisie in William Marshall’s world, over the later construct of chivalry, is a must for any student of medieval society and gendered codes of conduct."
Kathryn Smithies, University of Melbourne, Australia.
"This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in knighthood, family, the royal court, warfare and lordship in the medieval world. It provides a compelling account of the career of one of the most extraordinary figures of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, played out against the rise and fall of the fortunes of the sons of King Henry II: Henry the Young King, Richard the Lionheart, and John."
Paul Webster, Cardiff University, UK
"David Crouch’s William Marshal is a welcome and greatly appreciated addition to the study of chivalry and knighthood in Medieval Europe. Crouch presents "The Marshal" as human -- a great military and political leader, exemplary to other knights of the period, but capable of error, poor judgment, and even vulnerable to defeat as well. Meticulously researched, beautifully written, and engaging throughout, this is a book that will please both researchers and students alike."
Michael Furtado, University of Oregon, USA
Praise of the previous edition:
'a tour de force... The world of the Angevin court is splendidly recreated, and Dr Crouch succeeds admirably in explaining the reality of the chivalric ethos. For him, the celebrations after a battle had more in common with the atmosphere in the bar of a rugby club than with that of the enclosures at Henley or the ski-slopes of Klosters - Dr crouch is adept at finding striking modern parallels.'
'a refreshingly readable book, it makes a contribution to medieval studies quite out of proportion to its size.'
'Crouch resurrects a lost world in fluent, economic and readable prose, often enlivened by colloquialisms and contemporary parallels.'
'Written in a racy, accessible, idiosyncratic style, which might have appealed to the Marshal himself, it should be read by everyone interested in medieval people, politics and society.'