Monday, February 04, 2013

An interim review of Sebastien Nadot’s Le spectacle des joustes

I read French rather slowly, so I may move on to other books before I properly finish this one.  But Le spectacle des joustes deserves some attention and so I am writing this comment.

Few scholarly books look at all aspects of medieval deeds of arms in detail. This is one of them. 

The book’s title is deceptive in that the book, though it treats jousting very thoroughly, is not restricted to jousting.  The subject is the events called emprises and pas d’armes, which could include a variety of fighting.

Potential readers should also know that the book covers the fifteenth century.  Thus no St. Inglevert and no Charny’s Questions.

However, there is plenty more on deeds of arms as athletics, as spectacles, and as economic and political events.  Particularly interesting is the way Nadot wrestles with the idea of fighting “courteously.”

This book could serve as an index to interesting incidents on the list fields of the fifteenth century.

I think I’m going to need a copy of my own.  Only 30 euro!  But the shipping?


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