The Tournament in England, 1100-1400

Juliet R.V. Barker

A survey of the tournament in England from its first emergence in the 12th century to the beginning of the 15th, when technical changes altered its very nature.
Date Published :
April 2003
Illustration :
8 color
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9780851159423
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.25 inches
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In stock
$24.95

Overview
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Juliet Barker surveys the tournament in England from its first emergence in the twelfth century to the beginning of the fifteenth, when it was revolutionised by the emergence of technical changes which altered its very nature. The original publication of this study, deriving from Juliet Barker's PhD thesis supervised by Maurice Keen, reestablished the importance of the tournament at the heart of medieval chivalric culture. The first serious scholarly publication for over half a century, it dramatically reawakened interest in the historical context of tournaments, and is especially valuable for its detailed evidence on the early years.
Tournaments are shown as far more than just sport. They had wide political, social and military implications; in England their potential as a political instrument was quickly realised: for the disaffected they became a means of rebellion and feuding, but for the king and court they were a powerful propaganda machine. Participation in tournaments was also a way to earn a coveted reputation for chivalry; the passion for tourneying could bring knights lasting fame. Military demands accounted for the increasing sophistication of armour and weapons, partly in response to the demands of the tourneyers, who needed military training that reflected their role in actual combat. This wide-ranging study looks at the tournament from all these angles, and in so doing produces an exemplary history of the first three hundred years of their development.

JULIET BARKER is a well-known broadcaster and writer, whose other books include The Brontes and Wordsworth: A Life in Letters.

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