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WE have seen that clerical theory accepted violence for right causes and

not for wrong—a distinction that is tricky to make at the best of times,

and especially so in an imperfect world. Kings and royal administrators, no less

than their counterparts in the clerical hierarchy, had mixed feelings about basic

issues of war, violence, and rightful authority. They had two goals: to move in

the direction of a working monopoly—or at least a royal supervision—of warlike

violence within their realm, and to maintain vigorous leadership of the

violence exported beyond the realm in the form of organized war. These royal

goals inevitably entailed a complex pattern of cooperation and conflict

between emerging kingship and emerging chivalry. Like powerful bar magnets

turning at different speeds in close proximity, chivalry and kingship now

drew each other together, now forced each other apart.

Yet on either side of the Channel—or at least within spheres dominated by

the Capetians and the Plantagenets—kingship was rooted in specific historical

circumstances and gathered its strengths and capacities on differing timetables.

These important differences, as well as many shared characteristics, shape

the chapters of Part Three. Common features, particularly well illustrated in

French chivalric literature, appear in Chapter 5, which only begins to sketch

out differences between Capetian and Plantagenet political culture. Chapter 6

takes up the case of chivalry and English kingship, emphasizing differences. As

so often, the particularities of English political and social circumstances repay

separate, close investigation.