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Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe - Richard Kaeuper

Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe

Hardcover Published: 1st November 1999
ISBN: 9780198207306
Number Of Pages: 352

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Medieval Europe was a rapidly developing society with a problem of violent disorder. Professor Kaeuper's original and authoritative study reveals that chivalry was not simply part of the solution. Chivalry praised heroic violence by knights, and fused such displays of prowess with honour, piety, high status, and attractiveness to women. Though the vast body of chivalric literature, here examined, praises chivalry as necessary to civilization, most texts also worry over knightly violence, criticize all ideals and practices of chivalry, and often propose reforms. The knights themselves joined the debate, absorbing some reforms, ignoring others, sometimes proposing their own. Complexity likewise characterized the interaction of chivalry with major governing institutions ("church" and "state") emerging at the same time: kings and clerics both needed and feared the force of knighthood. This fascinating book lays bare the conflicts and paradoxes surrounding the concept of chivalry in medieval Europe.

Industry Reviews

`Kaeuper's argument is not only convincing, but his presentation of the tensions throughout is quite captivating.' The Medieval Review `He does an admirable job of moving adeptly between imaginative and historical texts' The Medieval Review `In this elegant, interpretative essay Richard Kaeuper takes another look at the meaning of chivalry. ... Seasoned students of the subject will find his views confirmatory rather than revolutionary, judicious and finely tuned for all that.' Peter Coss, Medium Aevum `The real strength of this book lies in the author's deep knowledge of the imaginative literature and the ease with which he can draw on a myriad incidents in support of his argument. It overflows with arresting images and with apt citations that seem to take us to the very core of chivalric beliefs.' Peter Coss, Medium Aevum `Kaeuper draws upon a great deal of recent scholarship, not only on individual works but also on audience and reception, and on historical context. Veteran campaigners will find this book particularly profitable in keeping them abreast of this new work. Aspirants will find it a stimulating introduction to the subject.' Peter Coss, Medium Aevum `Kaeuper displays his wide reading and scholarship in pursuit of chivalry's literary and practical differences to offer some original research amid a synthesis of much recent work ... the furnishing of many less familiar examples is particuarly welcome.' Sean McGlynn, EHR Sept. 00, Vol.115, No.463. `An enjoyable introduction to the subject.' Sean McGlynn, EHR Sept. 00, Vol. 115, No.463. `a vivid and often illuminating analysis of how the ideals and behaviour of the knightly classes were represented by their chroniclers.' John Palmer, Jnl of the Society of Archivists, Vol.21, No.2, 2000. `an illuminating study of the problems of social order and knightly violence as portrayed in chivalric literature.' John Palmer, Jnl of the Society of Archivists, Vol.21, No.2, 2000. `On the whole, Kaeuper's argument is not only convincing, but his presentation of the tensions throughout is quite captivating. He especially let the texts present his case, which they do with the boldness that marks so much medieval verse.' Steven Isaac, BMR. `What Kaeuper demonstrates most effectively from multiple viewpoints is that the ordo of Chevalerie established its own peculiar relationship with secular and ecclesiastical authority.' Steven Isaac, BMR. `Richard Kaeuper's study of the violence inherent in chivalry bridges the difficult gap between reality and mentalite ... Kaeuper has built a picture of an ethos constantly under construction and tension.' Steven Isaac, BMR.

Issues and Approaches
The Problem of Public Order and the Knights
Evidence on Chivalry and its Interpretation
The Link with Clergie
Knights and Piety
Clergie, Chevalerie, and Reform
The Link with Royaute
Chevaleriue and Royaute
English Kingship, Chivalry, and Literature
The Ambivalent Force of Chivalry
The Privileged Practice of Violence: Worship of the Demi-God Prowess
Knighthood in Action
Social Dominance of the Knights
Knights, Ladies, and Love
Chanson de Geste and Reform
Quest and Questioning in Romance
Chivalric Self-Criticism and Reform
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198207306
ISBN-10: 0198207301
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 1st November 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.21 x 16.41  x 2.49
Weight (kg): 0.64