Non-Book Review: The Chivalric Biography Of Boucicaut, Jean II Le Meingre

The Chivalric Biography of Boucicault, Jean II Le Meingre, tarnslated by Craig Taylor and Jane H.M. Taylor

As a prolific reviewer for the De Re Militari [1], I thought it would be worthwhile to examine this particular work in translation.  After all, I have in the past read and reviewed very worthwhile books brought into translation that help explain somewhat forgotten and neglected aspects of medieval history, from the propaganda documents of the Hospitaliers concerning their defense of Rhodes against the Ottoman Empire to the Muslim side of the Crusades.  And having turned time and time again to the Hundred Years War, of which many good sources exist for the English side, it is worthwhile to see what the French side had to say about it.  Since anglophone historians tend to neglect many of the French sources, especially when writing about the massively important battles of Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt, this book fills a niche in providing an English-language source of the French perspective that tends not to be focused on.  I happen to enjoy this particular type of source, so I am enthusiastic about reading it.

Of course, this is a book whose organization does not make reading it as easy as one might expect.  Aside from introductory material, the vast majority of this book is made up of the translation of the chivalric biography, which is apparently not divided into chapters for ease of reading.  Additionally, there is some question as to what is meant by a chivalric biography.  From what I could fairly quickly gather, the book was originally written by one of the author’s servants, from all accounts a highly literate gentleman.  And the subject of the biography was an illustrious man, having served as Marshal of France from his youth, involved in governing in Genoa and participating in efforts to end the Great Schism and also in some less illustrious matters, like the disastrous crusade to Nicopolis in 1396, eventually leading to his capture by the English at Agincourt and his death several years later in captivity.  Those latter matters are not the sort I think likely to be talked of very much in a chivalric biography, but it remains to be seen how fair and balanced this particular biography is.  One may expect a certain bias, but it must be investigated and not merely assumed.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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3 Responses to Non-Book Review: The Chivalric Biography Of Boucicaut, Jean II Le Meingre

  1. Pingback: Non-Book Review: The Principality Of Antioch And Its Frontiers In The Twelfth Century | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Non-Book Review: Desperta Ferro Antigua Y Medieval: La Guerra De Los Cien Años (1) | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Non-Book Review: Agincourt 1415 | Edge Induced Cohesion

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