Recreates in detail the life of this advisor to the Plantagnets and knight extraordinaire.
``I am not writing the history of events,'' states Duby, a distinguished French scholar (The Age of the Cathedrals, etc.). ``I want to try to see the world the way these men saw it.'' He succeeds brilliantly, in this chronicle of a humble knight who rose through military prowess and royal favor to become Earl of Pembroke in the turbulent epoch of the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Duby gets inside his subject's skin, helping us to comprehend the complex chivalric value system. He vividly recreates a world in which loyalty, valor and generosity were the principal virtues, in which the individual defined himself (women were barely considered human beings) in terms of his connections and obligationsto his lord, to his family, to his vassals. Duby is a superb writerelegant, concise and insightful and Howard's translation does him justice. This brief account sheds great light on the shadowy medieval universe. Reader's Subscription selection. January 1