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The Medieval Soldier
The history of Feudalism is the story of how the concepts of honor and manhood, with its roots in bloody conflicts and inherited from the dark German forests, blended with the gentler ideals of Christianity. The author--Master of Armories at the Tower of London--provides for both scholar and lay person the history of Feudalism by thoroughly discussing its most important fe ...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published 1993 by Barnes & Noble
(first published 1971)
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If you're a scholar or writer looking for fine-grained detail about Medieval armor and weaponry, the many pages of technical information in this book will prove a gold mine of useful data. For the rest of us, one or two chapters are moderately interesting, and the rest is as dry as dust. I freely confess to skipping most of the armor designs, helm styles, and sword lengths in favor of the few-but-thorough discussions on battle tactics, chivalry, and the Crusades. I wouldn't find it worthwhile to ...more
very dry, though if you're looking for real nuts and bolts details about the, um, nuts and bolts of soldiery in the middle ages, this is a great place to start. sword lengths, chain mail constructions, axe analysis and lots more are here. unfortunately, i was hoping for something more along the lines of an overview and discussion of the life and experiences of a medieval soldier. norman does touch on that a bit in a section on the crusades, but only briefly. then it's back to a discussion of the ...more
This book was rather all over the place - sometimes chronological, sometimes thematic, sometimes giving social context, sometimes strictly technical. It seems to have been written for someone who was already somewhat of an expert. I'm somewhere in between that and a casual reader, so I wasn't too confused, but I was put off. Maybe in the seventies not a lot of people read this type of material unless they were already medievalists with a strong background in Western European military history.