Monthly Archives: July 2016

Book Review: William Holt’s “Trigger in Europe”

A few years ago, my husband came home and handed me a book. “Here,” he said, “I found this in a charity shop and I think you’ll like it. I KNOW you’ll like it.” … Source: Book Review: William Holt’s … Continue reading

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Knights and Stallions

‘In the days of Chivalry it was deemed a disgrace to ride upon a mare, and no greater indignity could be inflicted on a recreant Knight than to cause him to be placed upon one’ (Lady Charlotte Guest, The Mabinogion, 1838, vol. 1). Did you ever wonder why a knight could never ride a mare and be considered a man? Was it because the patriarchal, male-dominated chivalry admitted no female to its inner circles of power, even if that female was equine? Or should the narrative of homosocial bonding and rampant feminism be abandoned in favour of a more mundane – or indeed, of a more exotic – explanation? Was it even true that the western male elite rode only stallions, never mares, geldings or mules? Continue reading

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Horsemanship – an essential skill in the Middle Ages

‘the art of being a good horseman is one of the most important skills that lords, knights and squires ought to possess.’ (The Book of Horsemanship by Duarte I of Portugal)

Have you ever thought why horsemanship was an essential skill for almost any medieval person with any sort of ambition? Naturally, there were knights, who could not practice chivalry without a cheval, horse. However, any medieval person, peasant or knight, monk or king, housewife or lady, would have at least some practical knowledge of horsemanship. Horses were everywhere, like cars are nowadays, but there were ways in which horses were very much unlike cars. In fact, horsemanship could save your life – in this world and the next one – or lose it. Continue reading

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Call For Papers – Medieval Equestrianism at IMC Leeds 2017

Following the success of Medieval Equestrianism Sessions at the IMC Leeds 2016, we invite papers for special sessions on medieval equestrian history for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds in 2017. Continue reading

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