The Greatest Knight

The Greatest Knight

The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones

Book - 2014 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:

A renowned scholar brings to life medieval England's most celebrated knight, William Marshal--providing an unprecedented and intimate view of this age and the legendary warrior class that shaped it.

Caught on the wrong side of an English civil war and condemned by his father to the gallows at age five, William Marshal defied all odds to become one of England's most celebrated knights. Thomas Asbridge's rousing narrative chronicles William's rise, using his life as a prism to view the origins, experiences, and influence of the knight in British history.

In William's day, the brutish realities of war and politics collided with romanticized myths about an Arthurian "golden age," giving rise to a new chivalric ideal. Asbridge details the training rituals, weaponry, and battle tactics of knighthood, and explores the codes of chivalry and courtliness that shaped their daily lives. These skills were essential to survive one of the most turbulent periods in English history--an era of striking transformation, as the West emerged from the Dark Ages.

A leading retainer of five English kings, Marshal served the great figures of this age, from Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine to Richard the Lionheart and his infamous brother John, and was involved in some of the most critical phases of medieval history, from the Magna Carta to the survival of the Angevin/Plantagenet dynasty. Asbridge introduces this storied knight to modern readers and places him firmly in the context of the majesty, passion, and bloody intrigue of the Middle Ages.

The Greatest Knight features 16 pages of black-and-white and color illustrations.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062262059
Branch Call Number: 923.241 PEM ASB
Characteristics: xx, 444 pages :,illustrations (chiefly color), maps


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 30, 2015

What an incredible life! One hair-raising escape from certain death after another. Not history light. Rather a very well-written biography. Warrior and king's counselor, Marshal lived to be praised as the model of the chivalrous knight by his contemporaries.

May 31, 2015

I can't even explain how much I loved this book. Such an excellent biography of a man who deserves to be remembered.


Add a Summary

May 30, 2015

William Marshal was a remarkable man in a remarkable time. From his near-death experience at age five at the hand of King Stephen, to leading his final charge at the age of 70 at Lincoln, Marshal's life is truly extraordinary. And unlike many of his contemporaries, he was afforded what they were not - the chance to withdraw from court life and spend his final days at home in the comfort of his own bed, his family beside him.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at EPL

To Top