Top 6 Books about Medieval Knights

An accurate picture of the medieval knight is not easy to draw. Not only has our modern view been filtered through centuries of popular culture, but the knight himself was influenced by the romantic literature of his day. Here are books that succeed in separating fact from fantasy and in providing a fairly clear look at the historical knight of the Middle Ages.

by Frances Gies
In this well-researched and thoroughly annotated book, Frances Gies pulls together a wide variety of sources to offer a cogent, in-depth exploration of the evolution of knights and knighthood through the Middle Ages. Affordable and portable in paperback, with black and white photos and maps and an extensive bibliography.

by Andrea Hopkins
Although clearly influenced by the romantic mythos of knighthood, Hopkins nevertheless presents a lucid and balanced introduction to both the cultural influences on medieval knights and the reality of their lives. An attractive, oversized book with splendid maps, photos, and illustrations.

by David Edge & John Miles Paddock
Simply the best book on medieval arms I've ever encountered, Arms & Armor reveals the evolution of knighthood through its most fundamental aspect: warfare. Defensive armament, weapons and their uses are examined by century, and supplemented with appendices on armor construction, a glossary, and numerous photos. Well-written and nicely presented.

04
of 06

The Knight Series

by Ewart Oakeshott
Each of these five books offers an admirably clear overview of a different aspect of the medieval knight as a military man. Taken together the picture they present is fairly complete. Each volume, which is illustrated by the author and includes a useful glossary, stands alone and may be read in any order. Accessible to younger readers, yet substantial enough for the adult. Subjects include: Armor, Battle, Castle, Horse, and Weapons.

by Stephen Turnbull
This gorgeous book focuses largely on the political history of British knights through wars in Scotland, the Hundred Years' War and War of the Roses. In-depth examinations of individuals, battles, warfare and other aspects of knighthood are highlighted by numerous photos of artifacts, castles, effigies and heraldic banners. Nicely produced.

06
of 06

Eyewitness: Knight

by Christopher Gravett
An ideal introduction to the splendor of knighthood for the younger reader, filled with dazzling photos of arms, castles, artifacts, and people dressed in medieval costume. Here is a sound, substantial and enjoyable view of the medieval knight that adults will also appreciate. For ages 9-12.