James Stallard is a 14th century re-enactor from Victoria. An extremely experienced fighter, well regarded in the Australian National Scene, we asked him for his favourite books to share with everyone.
Chivalry by Maurice Keen
Deeds of Arms by Steven Mulburgher
A translation of Charney Tournament in England 1100-1400
Just for fun
The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
“This book isn’t essential by a bloody good read and lots of fun. For more advanced readers it seems basic but there is always something to learn. I’m intermediately read of the medieval topic and I’m loving this book because it’s very vivid! And learning more about poor people!”
Records of the Medieval Swords by Ewart Oakeshott
Stop buying F***ING Viking swords for 14th Century! I’m don’t care how cheap it was!
Got a favourite chivalric or tournament book? Comment with a link and let us know, we’d love to know what yours is.
[tabs] [tab title=”Chivalry Publisher Blurb”] Chivalry–with its pageants, heraldry, and knights in shining armor–was a social ideal that had a profound influence on the history of early modern Europe. In this eloquent and richly detailed book, a leading medieval historian discusses the complex reality of chivalry: its secular foundations, the effects of the Crusades, the literature of knighthood, and its ethos of the social and moral obligations of nobility. “This is a rich book, making effective use of all sorts of documents and illustrations. Keen moves easily across Europe in search of the international spirit of chivalry…The pageantry he presents is colorful and his conclusions uplifting.”–David Herlihy, New York Times Book Review “An elegantly written, important book.”–Carolly Erickson, Los Angeles Times Book Review “Splendid…Keen is exemplary in the use he makes of many kinds of medieval literature, epic and lyric poetry, family and military histories, didactic treatises, translations into the vernacular of books of the Bible and of works from ancient Rome.”–R.C. Smail, New York Review of Books “Original [and] beguiling.” –Fiona MacCarthy, Times (London) “A most readable and comprehensive survey: stimulating, informative, a splendid creation of context.”–Nicholas Orme, Times Higher Education Supplement “All historians of Western society …will do well to refer to this book.”–Georges Duby, Times Literary Supplement [/tab][tab title=”Deed of Arms”] During the 14th century, men of arms–knights and soldiers–exercised themselves in various forms of competitions to both refine their skills and as a matter of national honor. Steven Muhlberger details these contests, analyzing how their renown was of great politial importance. Drawn from an extensive study of all remaining sources from the 14th century, Dr. Muhlberger brings his considerable scholarly expertise together with a knack for accessible writing to produce what will become the definitive work on the subject [/tab][tab title=”The Book of the Order of Chilavlry”] Ramon Llull (1232-1316) composed The Book of the Order of Chivalry between 1274 and 1276 as both an instrument of reform and an agent for change. His aim was to create and codify the rules for a unilateral Order of Chivalry. Loyalty to the Order, coupled with common sense, religious faith, education, and martial prowess, were in his view the keys to victory in the Holy Land and the Reconquista. The book was an immediate success and widely disseminated across Europe, eventually reaching a medieval English audience, though through a fanciful translation of a translation by William Caxton, in which most of the stylistic nuances of the Catalan original were lost. This new translation is directly from the original Catalan, so capturing for the first time in English the concise, austere style that characterises Llull’s prose; it is presented with introduction and notes. It will be essential reading for all scholars and enthusiasts of medieval chivalric culture. Noel Fallows is Associate Dean and Professor of Spanish at the University of Georgia, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London [/tab][tab title=”Time Travellers Guide To Medieval England”] The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there…Imagine you could travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see, and hear, and smell? Where would you stay? What are you going to eat? And how are you going to test to see if you are going down with the plague? In The Time Traveller’s Guide…Ian Mortimer’s radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. History is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived, whether that’s the life of a peasant or a lord. The result is perhaps the most astonishing history book you are ever likely to read; as revolutionary as it is informative, as entertaining as it is startling [/tab][tab title=”Record of the Medieval Sword”] Forty years of intensive research into the specialised subject of the straight two-edged knightly sword of the European middle ages are contained in this classic study. Spanning the period from the great migrations to the Renaissance, Ewart Oakeshott emphasises the original purpose of the sword as an intensely intimate accessory of great significance and mystique. There are over 400 photographs and drawings, each fully annotated and described in detail, supported by a long introductory chapter with diagrams of the typological framework first presented in The Archaeology of Weapons and further elaborated in The Sword in the Age of Chivalry. There are appendices on inlaid blade inscriptions, scientific dating, the swordsmith’s art, and a sword of Edward III. Reprinted as part of Boydell’s History of the Sword series. [/tab] [/tabs]