This is a book review of The Greatest Knight by Thomas Asbridge. The book is about an Englishman named William Marshall who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries.
This review contains spoilers, so read further at your own peril! 😉
On a sunny day some years ago, I stood in the Temple Church in London gazing at the Knight effigies. I didn’t realise the staggering contribution and impact to British history by William Marshall whose effigy lay before me.
I’m used to seeing or reading about fictional knights, dosed with modern day values and attitude. Whereas this book is about a real person, from youth to death and the surroundings he found himself in. This book was published in 2015, and given my interest in medieval history, I should of read the book sooner.
So who was William Knight? William fought in tournaments, saved Kings, took a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, was involved in the creation of the Magna Carta, controlled lands and more. It is tempting to tell you more, but the above should give you a glimpse of ‘some’ of the topics that this book covers. The author did an incredible job cramming it all into 444 pages in a manner that those with little knowledge of the period, will be able to follow.
In the past, I have put down history books that get bogged down in detail or I found the books boring. Instead, I found this book interesting, not just informing me about William, but a glimpse into history that kept me reading till the final page.