This challenging study explores the nature and meaning of violence in fifteenth-century England. Maddern examines violence on each side of the law, offering a subtle and intelligent analysis of its role in a society with a strong concern for order. She investigates the way their moral code was reflected in the procedures and punishments of the courts, and assesses the success of the legal system in maintaining authority and order. Based on extensive archival research, her scholarly and original study makes an important contribution to our understanding of the medieval world view.
'her investigation of what may be called the ideology of medieval violence is imaginative and often convincing'
Henry Summerson, Institute of Historical Research, The Journal of Legal History, Vol. 14, No. 2, Aug '93 'This well-argued monograph sets the definition of political and social behavior against the culture of chivalric literature as well as that of legal categories. an important book that urges a re-reading of familiar assessments of authority and rank, and makes the distinction between allegations and a reconstruction of "what really happened."'
J.T. Rosenthal, SUNY at Stony Brook, Choice, Feb '93 `Maddern's is an important, original and compelling book. It brings powerful new insights to a subject with which most historians of late-medieval society probably thought they were familiar.'
Nigel Saul, The Times Literary Supplement `this is a fascinating study ... this book contains a number of significant and original findings ... this is a well-researched and carefully argued book which will undoubtedly change the way we think of fifteenth-century England.'
The Historian, Autumn 1993, Vol 56