Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century, inspired Scott Farrell of Chivalry Today to interview me again. His introduction:
In a world marked by ferocious politics, economic change, warfare and violence, social upheaval, and religious schism, how, exactly did chivalrous knights and their sword fighting games and jousting activities fit into the scheme of everyday life? Beyond the storybook image of a jousting tournament as a showcase for heroic behavior, just what did it mean to take part in a “formal combat” in the Middle Ages? Did things like duels, tournaments, jousts and deeds of arms have meaning and repercussions outside of knightly society – in the realms of politics, economics and cultural values? Can we learn anything about the ideals of chivalry in the Middle Ages – and perhaps our understanding of it today – by taking a more pragmatic and down-to-earth look at formal combats and the people who attended, supported, criticized, and participated in them?I will say more about the book in a later post.