As a member of the Mortimer History Society, I have been notified that the above book has been greatly reduced in price at Oxbow Books. I’ve ordered it – including £4 postage!
The blurb for the book is as follows:
“The medieval battlefield was a place of spectacle and splendour. The fully-armed knight, bedecked in his vivid heraldic colours, mounted on his great charger, riding out beneath his brightly-painted banner, is a stock image of war and the warrior in the middle ages. Yet too often the significance of such display has been ignored or dismissed as the empty preening of a militaristic social elite. Drawing on a broad range of source material and using innovative historical approaches, this book completely re-evaluates the way that such men and their weapons were viewed, showing that martial display was a vital part of the way in which war was waged in the middle ages. It maintains that heraldry and livery served not only to advertise a warrior’s family and social ties, but also announced his presence on the battlefield and right to wage war. It also considers the physiological and psychological effect of wearing armour, both on the wearer and those facing him in combat, arguing that the need for display in battle was deeper than any medieval cultural construct and was based in the fundamental biological drives of threat and warning.”
I hope it’s as good as it seems, and will be sure to post my review.
PS: Later. To be honest, I found this book hard going. Maybe my mood wasn’t quite right. I’ve abandoned it for the time being, and will give it another go some other time.