Georges Duby, one of this century's great medieval historians, has brought to life with exceptional brilliance and imagination William Marshal, adviser to the Pantagents, knight extraordinaire, the flower of chivalry. A marvel of historical reconstruction, William Marshal is based on a biographical poem written in the thirteenth century, and offers an evocatation of chivalric life - the contests and tournaments, the rites of war, the daily details of medieval existence - unlike any we have ever seen.
Georges Duby, one of this century's great medieval historians, has brought to life with exceptional brilliance and imagination William Marshal, adviser to the Plantagenets, knight extraordinaire, the flower of chivalry. A marvel of historical reconstruction, William Marshal is based on a biographical poem written in the thirteenth century, and offers an evocation of chivalric lifethe contests and tournaments, the rites of war, the daily details of medieval existenceunlike any we have ever seen.
GEORGES DUBY, was born in Paris in 1919. He was a French historian specializing in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages. He ranks among the most influential medieval historians of the twentieth century and was one of France's most prominent public intellectuals from the 1970s until his death in 1996. He is the author of many distinguished works on French and European history, including William Marshal, The Age of the Cathedrals, The Chivalrous Society, The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined, and The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest.
"An enchanting and profoundly instructive book. . . . Owing in signal part to the imaginative scholarship of Georges Duby, darkness is more and more receding from the Dark Ages." George Steiner, The New Yorker
"A small masterpiece of its genre. . . . It is a splendid story and Professor Duby tells it splendidly. . . . Duby has reconstructed a living picture of a particular sector of society at a crucial moment, at the brink of great change. The vividness, the intimacy, and the historical perception with which he presents his picture of the fascinating and eventful life of the Marshal, and of the world in which he lived, will win him readers not just among scholars, but among all who are drawn by the unending interest of the humanity of the human past." The New York Review of Books
"Duby succeeds wonderfully. . . . Everything works." The New York Times Book Review
"Behind the silhouette of his hero, Georges Duby re-creates the whole theater of chivalrythe splendor of its rituals and its decorum, the strength of its moral code. Through this code, to which William Marshal clings with all his strength, all his immense energy, Duby tells us of the last glories before its decline, the vestiges of a world coming to an end, and we quickly understand that the best of the knights will also soon be the last." Le Nouvel Observateur
"The language of the long poem on which this book is based is superbly full of freshness and life. These words convey equally the feeling of the book itself, Dubys passionate introduction to a world that ended with the end of the twelfth century." Le Monde
"Georges Duby created William with the skill of a writer and the precision of a historian. . . . This is a book that reads like a novel but happens, in fact, to be true." Telerama