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The Reign of Chivalry by Richard W. Barber

Profusely illustrated and redesigned for a new generation of readers, Richard Barber's classic The Reign of Chivalry presents a broad picture of the chivalric world, and shows how chivalry affected or was affected by great social movements, great writers and great events, and analyses the legacy it passed down to later ages. The opening chapter looks at the central figure of the whole chivalric world, the knight, and asks why he is such a different figure from other fighting men. Following sections deal with chivalry in relation to the main themes of medieval literature, especially the vast cycle of Arthurian romances, and discuss the attitudes towards chivalry of writers such as Jean Froissart, whose pages cast a golden glow over the harsh realities of war. Later sections look at chivalry's influence on the Renaissance and later culture, beginning with the knight's transition to gentleman. The element by which chivalry is now most remembered, its respectful, even adoring, attitude towards women, is the subject of a wide-ranging discussion, covering both medieval reality and modern ideals.

Large hardback, 1980,208 pages, very good condition

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