Thames & Hudson, £12.95
Knight: the medieval warrior’s (unofficial) manual by Michael Prestwich
This entertaining little book, as its title suggests, is a complete guide to being a knight. Its 15 chapters cover every conceivable aspect of knighthood, including becoming a knight, arms and armour, tournaments and jousts, battles and sieges, and such delicate matters as ‘ladies and damsels’ and ‘piety and memory’.
Written in the present tense by medieval warfare expert Michael Prestwich, it is a highly engaging, yet thoroughly reputable, introduction to the world of medieval chivalry. Thames & Hudson are producing a range of books that take this popular approach. Already published in the same series is Philip Matyszak’s Legionary: the (unofficial) Roman soldier’s manual; no doubt more are planned. And this venture follows an earlier series, similar in format, with such titles as Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day and Renaissance Florence on Five Florins a Day, books which read rather like modern tourist guidebooks. Judging by the apparent success of these series, this seems to be an effective way of presenting the past to general readers.
So, for all you aspiring medieval knights out there, this little book can be recommended as an excellent ‘how to get started’ manual.
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