Will a Frenchman Fight?
Chivalric Combat and Practical Warfare in the Hundred Years War
Edited by Steven Muhlberger Translated by Steven Muhlberger
The rulers of both England and France had reason to be unhappy as the 1380s dawned. Although the French regime was in better shape than it had been in a while, the country still lay open to English attack and the populace was angry about it. The English regime was no happier; it was futilely trying to realize the gains seemingly promised by the victory at Poitiers back in 1356. This had been its constant occupation for a quarter century, but ultimate success seemed as far away as ever.
This book describes a campaign of the Hundred Years War in 1380-1 in which a variety of different kinds of combat and different motives for fighting are evident. The campaign itself was a great chevauchée, or raid, by the English through France and though it had its practical goals, it was also a striking illustration of the place of chivalric self-image in shaping warfare. The English hoped to weaken their opponents by demonstrating that the French king, Charles V, could not defend his subjects. The French king had practical reasons for wishing to avoid spectacular but dangerous set battles similar to Crecy and Poitiers - battles that had been catastrophic for the French.
Avoiding battle, however, had its price. If enough people in France concluded that the English were right in their scorn for royal power, that power would be significantly reduced.
The fourth volume of the Deeds of Arms series demonstrates that although Charles V's strategy for avoiding battle was prudent, it was unpopular, showing how considerations of war, peace and personal honour were tightly bound together, and that direct confrontation of man against man or army against army was the most satisfying way of settling such issues
Buckingham's Campaign Begins (Froissart)
The Confrontation at Troyes (Froissart)
The Deeds of Arms at Toury and Marchenoir (Froissart)
Buckingham in Brittany (Froissart)
The Siege of Nantes (Cabaret)
The Deeds of Arms at Vannes (Froissart)
The Deeds of Arms at Vannes (Cabaret)
Nicholas Clifford and Jean Boucinel (Froissart)
Steven Muhlberger is Professor of History, Nipissing University, Ontario.
His work has focused on the Middle Ages, especially on late ancient and early medieval times. He is editor of the Late Antiquity in the Mediterraneansectionof the web resource, Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies, and is a widely published author.
Much of his time is now spent on the investigation of formal combats - duels, tournaments, and jousts - in the later Middle Ages.
New Titles List
Deeds of Arms Series
- The Combat of the Thirty
- Royal Jousts at the End of the Fourteenth Century
- The Twelve of England
- Will a Frenchman Fight? - Chivalric Combat and Practical Warfare in the Hundred Years War