Just Read: The Greatest Knight by Thomas Asbridge
This book follows Marshal through the reign of the 5 English kings he served- Henry II, The Young King Henry, Richard I, John and John's son, Henry III. Surprisingly, many of the events and people in Asbridge's book had been mentioned in Chadwick's book so I was delighted to see how closely she followed his life. The contrast between what we think of as knightly chivalry and common practices of that time period (like the punishment of prisoners in battles or what would happen to someone who went against the baron in charge of a certain area) was pretty eye opening. It examines chivalry and daily life during this period of history.
I was excited to learn more about this knight who seemed very influential in the lives of the kings he served as well as many of the noblemen of the area. The copy I read was an unedited proof so there were supplemental materials that would be included in the final book that were not in mine. These include various maps and a "Who's Who" section, which would have been helpful since so many men named their heirs after themselves or other important people of that time. One thing that I got slightly aggravated with was the constant mention of a biography of William Marshal which his eldest son, William II, commissioned to be written less than a year after William's death in 1219. On one hand, I love knowing that the information that I'm reading is accurate and knowing the original source material something was taken from. On the other hand, it was mentioned so many times that it made me wonder if I should have been reading that instead. Then I realized that the original title of The History is "L'Historie de Guillaume de Marechal" and was grateful that I now had access to this source since I don't speak French.
I would be very interested to read more from Thomas Asbridge. I found this book to be very interesting and I liked his style of writing. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.