Chaucer's Knight. The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary

PREZZO : EUR 26,00€
CODICE: ISBN 0297775669 EAN 9780297775669
DISPONIBILITA': In esaurimento

Chaucer's Knight. The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary

PREZZO : EUR 26,00€

ISBN 0297775669
EAN 9780297775669





In esaurimento

334 pages
21 b/w ills.
Hardcover with jacket
cm 14,5 x 22 x 2,7
gr 545


From the front flap:
Terry Jones, a television satirist with a secret second career as a medievalist, has long thought that historians and literary critics have consistently misjudged some of the work of the father of English satire, Geoffrey Chaucer.
In a well-substantiated and imaginative study Terry Jones questions the accepted view of Chaucer's Knight as a conventional and rather dull pillar of the establishment. By concentrating on seeing the Knight in his historical rather than purely literary context, he argues that the Knight is very far from a paragon of Christian chivalry, and is in fact nothing less than a crude mercenary - typical of the military caste of his day. He would have been an essential figure to include in any portrait of that society.
To Chaucer and his contemporaries, the growing commercialization of warfare was one of the greatest evils of the age, for they witnessed the growth of the so-called 'free companies', which swarmed over Europe like the Great Plague itself, and brought terror and destruction on an unbelievable scale. It was for them a horrific demonstration of what happened when the older values of the feudal society (for all that society's short-comings) were replaced by the crude commercial ethic which has dominated our social values ever since.
This far from flattering image of the Knight calls for a reassessment of the Knight's Tale, which emerges as a brilliant but sinister parody - an elegant and courtly romance put into the mouth of a cold-blooded professional killer.

page VII Acknowledgements
IX Preface
1 1. The traditional interpretation of Chaucer's Knight
4 2. The military background
4 What was a 'knight' in the fourteenth century?
13 The rise and rise of the mercenaries
18 Fourteenth-century attitudes to mercenaries
25 The poor knight
27 The Ellesmere illustration of the Knight
31 3. Commentary on the description of the Knight in the General Prologue
141 4. The Knight's Tale
217 5. Why does the Knight interrupt the Monk?
223 Appendix
231 Notes to illustrations
233 Notes
293 Bibliography
307 Index

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