Chivalry in Medieval England:
From Sutton Hoo to Agincourt
with Professor Nigel Saul (University of London)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 7th May  2016.


Chivalry evokes a picture of knights performing brave deeds for their ladies.  But what was it really like?  This course looks at chivalry’s origins, its code of military conduct, and its relationship to the Christian faith.  It will also touch on chivalry’s impact on the world of romantic attachment.

Provisional Programme:

09.50 – 10.15:         Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:         The origins and character of chivalry

11.15 – 11.40:         Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:         Chivalry and war: theory against reality

12.40 – 14.00:         Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:         Chivalry and faith: piety and the trophies of war in church

14.50 – 15.10:         Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:         Chivalry and emotion: knights doing deeds of derring-do for ladies

c.16.00:                   Thanks and Close

About Professor Nigel Saul:

Nigel Saul retired in 2015 and is now Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London.   In 2013 he was historical consultant for the BBC 4 series ‘Chivalry and Betrayal: the Hundred Years War’. Last year he was actively involved in the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

He has published extensively on the history of medieval England, his most recent book being For Honour and Fame. Chivalry in England, 1066-1500 (London: Bodley Head, 2011).  In 2013 he was historical consultant to the BBC4 series Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War.  He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the magazine History Today.

Previous Feedback:

When asked ‘What was best about the day?” at a previous Study Day by Nigel Saul, participants said:

  • Each session was equally good.  A lucid, straightforward, yet thought provoking account.  A privilege to attend.
  • Excellent lectures – vivid and scholarly
  • One of the best, few presenters have such clarity.
  • All of it excellent.  Kept our attention going.  Nice breezy manner.  Absolute clarity
  • Speaker was very clear, repeating his points to drive them home.
  • Brilliant! Please may we have him back.
  • Excellent lecturer (Nigel Saul), I thought it might be a bit above my level but he is so good, maintaining interest all through.
  • Brilliant, erudite and clear exposition wonderfully spoken and presented.

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

M. Keen, Chivalry (Yale University Press, 1984)

N.E. Saul, For Honour and Fame. Chivalry in England, 1066-1500 (Bodley Head, 2011)

R. Barber, The Knight and Chivalry (Boydell, 1970, 2nd edn., 1995)

M. Keen (ed.), Medieval Warfare. A History (Oxford University Press, 1999)