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Acknowledgements vii

Prologue 1

PART 1. ISSUES AND APPROACHES 5

1. The Problem of Public Order and the Knights 11

The High Middle Ages and Order 11

Three Witnesses 12

Context: Socio-Economic and Institutional Change 19

Evidence from Chivalric Literature 22

Conclusion 28

2. Evidence on Chivalry and its Interpretation 30

Did Knights Read Romance? 30

Is Chivalric Literature Hopelessly Romantic? 33

The Framework of Institutions and Ideas 36

PART II. THE LINK WITH CLERGIE 41

3. Knights and Piety 45

Lay Piety, Lay Independence 45

Chivalric Mythology 53

Knights and Hermits 57

4. Clergie, Chevalerie, and Reform 63

Clerical Praise for Knightly Militia 64

Clerical Strictures on Knightly Malitia 73

The Church and Governing Power 81

The Force of Ideas 84

PART III. THE LINK WITH ROYAUTÉ 89

5. Chevalerie and Royauté 93

Royal Stance on War and Violence 93

Capetian Kingship and Chivalry 98

The Balance Sheet 102

6. English Kingship, Chivalry, and Literature 107

Royal Ideology and Enforcement 107

The Evidence of Literature 111

PART IV. THE AMBIVALENT FORCE OF CHIVALRY 121

7. The Privileged Practice of Violence: Worship of the

Demi-god Prowess 129

Identification of Chivalry with Prowess 135

Competition 149

Conclusion 155

8. Knighthood in Action 161

A Delight in War and Tournament 161

The Fact of Fear? Voices for Peace? 165

Conduct of War 169

Looting and Destruction 176

Loyalty 185

9. Social Dominance of Knights 189

Chivalry and Nobility 189

The Role of Largesse 193

The Role of Chivalric Mythology (Revisited) 199

The Role of Formal Manners 205

10. Knights, Ladies, and Love 209

The Variety of Voices 210

Male Bonding 215

The Link with Prowess 219

Sexual Violence 225

11. Chanson de Geste and Reform 231

The Song of Aspremont 232

The Crowning of Louis 237

Raoul de Cambrai 244

12. Quest and Questioning in Romance 253

The Quest of the Holy Grail 253

The Death of King Arthur 261

x Contents

Robert the Devil/Sir Gowther 265

13. Chivalric Self-Criticism and Reform 273

The Romance of the Wings 273

The Book of the Order of Chivalry 275

L’Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal 280

Geoffroi de Charny, Livre de chevalerie 284

Thomas Malory, Morte Darthur 288

EPILOGUE 298

The Essex Rebellion and the Bouteville Affair 299

Dissolving the Fusion of Chivalric Elements 302

Prowess and Honour 304

Prowess and Piety 307

Prowess and Status 308

BIBLIOGRAPHY 311