Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Flower of Chivalry

Having just purchased a second book with this byline and contemplating a third title, my curiosity was piqued - how many other medieval warriors bore this title - who were these knights who were the epitome of the chivalric code.

William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1146 or 1147 – 14 May 1219), also called William the Marshal, was an Anglo-Norman soldier and statesman. He served five English kings – Henry II, his sons The "Young King" Henry, Richard I, John, and John's son Henry III.

Further reading:
William Marshal, the Flower of Chivalry by Georges Duby
The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, Power Behind Five English Thrones by Thomas Asbridge
William Marshal: Court, Career and Chivalry in the Angevin Empire 1147–1219 by David Crouch
William Marshal, Knight-Errant, Baron, and Regent of England by Sidney Painter

Bertrand du Guesclin (c. 1320 – 13 July 1380), nicknamed "The Eagle of Brittany" or "The Black Dog of Broc√©liande", was a Breton knight and French military commander during the Hundred Years' War. He was Constable of France from 1370 to his death. Well known for his Fabian strategy, he took part in six pitched battles and won the four in which he held command.

Further reading:
The Flower of Chivalry: Bertrand Du Guesclin and the Hundred Years War by Richard Vernier 

Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard (1473 – 30 April 1524) was a French soldier, generally known as the Chevalier de Bayard. Throughout the centuries since his death, he has been known as "the knight without fear and beyond reproach" (le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche). He himself however, preferred the name given him by his contemporaries for his gaiety and kindness, "le bon chevalier", or "the good knight". 

Further reading: 
The Chevalier Bayard by Samuel Shellabarger
The Story of the Chevalier Bayard by E Walford 

Sir William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale (circa. 1300-k.1353) was also known as the Knight of Liddesdale and the Flower of Chivalry. He was a Scottish nobleman and soldier active during the Second War of Scottish Independence. 

Further reading: 
Border Fury: England and Scotland at War 1296-1568. by John Sadler 
The Black Douglases by Michael Brown 
Chronica Gentis Scotorum, by John of Fordun 

Sir Philip Sidney (30 November 1554 – 17 October 1586) was an English poet, courtier, scholar, and soldier, who is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. 

Further reading
Life of the Renowned Sir Philip Sidney by Fulke Grevile
Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet by Katherine Duncan-Jones

Henry V (9 August 1386 – 31 August 1422) was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 36 in 1422. He was the second English monarch who came from the House of Lancaster.

Further reading:
Henry V, Flower of Chivalry by Craig David Taylor
The Life and times of Henry V by P Earle
Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England by Juliet Barker

Edward of Woodstock KG (15 June 1330 – 8 June 1376), called the Black Prince, was the eldest son of King Edward III and Philippa of Hainault, and the father of King Richard II of England. He was the first Duke of Cornwall (from 1337), the Prince of Wales (from 1343) and the Prince of Aquitaine (1362–72). Edward has been referred to as the Flower of English Chivalry

Further reading:
Edward the Black Prince: Power in Medieval Europe. by David Green

Roland (died 15 August 778) was a Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who became one of the principal figures in the literary cycle known as the Matter of France. The historical Roland was military governor of the Breton March, responsible for defending Francia's frontier against the Bretons. 

Further reading:
Wikipedia - The Song of Roland
The Song of Roland by Dorothy Leigh Sayers

The story follows the adventures of a hidalgo named Mr. Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. 
Fearing he is dead, Sancho Panza laments Don Quixote: "Oh flower of chivalry, that with one blow of a stick hast ended the course of thy well-spent life! Oh pride of thy race, honour and glory of all La Mancha, nay, of all the world, that for want of thee will be full of evil-doers, no longer in fear of punishment for their misdeeds!

Further reading
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

And finally we come to: 
Jean II Le Maingre, called Boucicaut (August 28, 1366 — June 21, 1421) was Marshal of France and a knight renowned for his military skill - the very flower of chivalry.  From his earliest years at the royal court in Paris, he distinguished himself in knightly pursuits: sorties against seditious French nobles, ceremonial jousts against the English enemy, crusading in Tunisia and Prussia, the composition of courtly verses, and the establishment of a chivalric order for the defence of ladies, the Order of the Enterprise of the White Lady of the Green Shield. 

Further reading
The Chivalric Biography of Boucicaut, Jean II Le Meingre by Craig David Taylor

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