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The Greatest Knight: The Unsung Story of the…
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The Greatest Knight: The Unsung Story of the Queen's Champion (original 2005; edition 2009)

by Elizabeth Chadwick

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6843913,957 (4.08)82
Member:Samantha_kathy
Title:The Greatest Knight: The Unsung Story of the Queen's Champion
Authors:Elizabeth Chadwick
Info:Sourcebooks Landmark (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Own, Historical

Work details

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (2005)

Recently added byDream24, private library, eskrose, Tess_Elizabeth, aquaAnnajustme, atcolorado, DinHeru
  1. 30
    Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman (ladymacbeth1)
    ladymacbeth1: Elizabeth Chadwick's style is similar to Sharon Kay Penman's. If you liked reading about William Marshal in Devil's Brood, you'll enjoy Chadwick's biographical fiction on the man.
  2. 00
    The Lion in Winter by James Goldman (Limelite)
    Limelite: Intelligent and powerful play about Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitane, and their sons, with a feature role for William Marshall. Also a movie starring Peter O'Toole, Katherine Hepburn, and Anthony Hopkins as Richard III.
  3. 00
    The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick (arctangent)
    arctangent: This book continues the story of William Marshal and his family that was begun in 'The Greatest Knight' through the time of his death.
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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
One of my favorite books of the year. The Greatest Knight is a historical biography & adventure. This book is just part one, the author continues William's tale in the next book. I really enjoyed the details of life in the middle ages, Chadwick does an amazing job, her research brings the time period to life. I surprisingly enjoyed the tourney lifestyle & battles more than I would have thought. Generally, I find detailed battle descriptions boring & gory but I sincerely relished seeing them thru William's eyes. I think what I enjoyed most was getting a peak into the personalities of these historical figures, King Henry I, Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, Eleanor of Aquitaine, etc. It makes their actions & motivations more human & understandable when you can see their personality traits & thru their eyes.

I found this book on a Best Historical Fiction list & they were right! I'm looking forward to the second part of William's story. ( )
  CMBlaker | May 6, 2014 |
Having just read Sharon Kay Penman's trilogy about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine where the reader meets William Marshall at the age of 5 and he continues in the background throughout, this book was extremely entertaining because of the background that is built by this other with the same history.

William Marshall here is shown as a man of chivalry, honor and loyalty as well as love for those of his family. Frequently, he story shows how he is torn between what he desires to and what he sees as the honorable thing and Chadwick's William Marshall always manages to make the right choice at the right time. ( )
  cyderry | Sep 2, 2013 |
It is a great story and Chadwick did a great job of connecting the dots of historical events. I thought the characters were a little flat ... except during the romance and courtship. I wish there had been a pronunciation guide for the French names (Yqueboeuf? Poitou?). I found some of the language confusing.

The anachronistic phrases drove me nuts and jolted me right out of the twelfth century.

It certainly was refreshing to get the a view of the middle ages from the ruling classes' viewpoint instead of lowly serfs and such. ( )
  Clueless | Jul 8, 2013 |
A very good book.... enjoyed every bit of it. It is totally believeable. Chadwick is totally respectful to the integrity of the characters and their lives. ( )
  justmeRosalie | Jun 19, 2013 |
Pretty great!

"The Greatest Knight" gives us the David Beckham of his time - William Marshal, also called "The Marshal." Once again Chadwick's writing delivers and I learned more about the medieval tournament during its heyday than I've read before - and I loved it. Marshal served three volatile kings and was a champion in the tournament world of his time. Marshal is known to most people as the elder knight in "A Lion in Winter," yet at the time Goldman's play opens in 1183, Marshal was actually 41 - okay, old for that period. But I digress. I'm intrigued by Marshal now and will hit the bookshelves to read Ms. Chadwick's recommendations from her bibliography. I would have liked more about Marshal's journey to Jerusalem and a bit more on the tourney circuit, but it was again yet another entertaining and well-written book by Elizabeth Chadwick. ( )
  ELEkstrom | Jun 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Chadwickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scott, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the dark hour before dawn, all the shutters in the great hall were closed against the evil vapours of the night.
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Book description
A penniless young knight with few prospects, William Marshal blazes into history on the strength of his sword and the depth of his honor. Marshal's integrity set him apart in the turbulent court of Henry II ad Eleanor of Aquitaine, bringing fame and the promise of a wealthy heiress as well as enemies eager to plot his downfall. Elizabeth Chadwick has crafted a spellbinding tale about a forgotten hero, an ancestor of George Washington, an architect of the Magna Carta, and a legend of chivalry--the greatest knight of the Middle Ages. [from the cover] This book recounts the life of William Marshal (1146 – 14 May 1219), from the age of twenty, as a new knight, to his rise as the husband of the Countess of Pembroke and a sub-justiciar under Richard the Lionheart, and ends shortly after the return of Richard from his crusade.

This story intersects with For the King's Favor, the story of Roger Bigod and Ida de Tosney, the earl and countess of Norfolk, who become friends with William Marshal and Isabel de Clare.
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Fictionalizes the life of William Marshal, who is appointed tutor to Prince Henry, heir to the throne, after he rescues the queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, but William quickly learns of the dangers that are attached to his reward.

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