The Greatest Knight
Timewatch presenter and military historian, Dr Saul David, delves deep into the...
Forget the images of chivalric knights, well-dressed damsels and dropped handkerchiefs associated with the joust. The melee tournament was a brutal free-for-all with sharpened weapons, few rules and one undisputed champion, William Marshal.
His story reveals a very different kind of tournament, one in which brute force ruled, handkerchiefs stayed in pockets and where money was more important than manners.
Saul journey's into the knightly world of William Marshall, training as he did, trying out his weapons and charting his epic rise from a money-grabbing tournament champion to the Regent of England who saves a kingdom on the battlefield. On the way armour is tested, heraldry is explored and how William Marshall received a transfer fee that would have shocked even David Beckham.
More about The Greatest Knight
Take it further: Books
The Tournament in England: 1100-1400
Juliet R.V. Barker, Boydell
Tournament: A Chivalric Way of Life
David Crouch, Hambledon
William Marshal: Knighthood, War and Chivalry
David Crouch, Longman
William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry
Georges Duby, Random House
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 14th September 2007
Last updated on: Monday, 14th January 2008
- Body text - Creative-Commons: The Open University
- Image 'Tournament melee' - Copyrighted: BBC
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