Here is a great post that medieval romance author Dana D’Angelo has offered to share with us here on Medieval Romances:
Knights and Romance by Dana D’Angelo
“There’s something about a knight in shining armor that is just so darn sexy.
He’s the ultimate hero who’s on a quest to protect and champion the less fortunate, fighting bravely and fiercely on behalf of God, his home and country. Even though he’s skilled at unhorsing an opponent while carrying a 13ft lance, he also has talents in the more gentle arts such as dancing and singing. And of course we can’t forget the fact that he admires women and holds them to the highest esteem.
For me, it’s not the political intrigue that interests me, but the love and lives of these extraordinary warriors. In my new book One True Knight I try to capture the essence of what a knight stands for.
Experts believe that during the early medieval period, these warriors were courteous and civil toward their enemies of war. This behavior was applauded and encouraged by the authorities of the time, and a chivalric code of conduct was formed.
Troubadours helped spread the ideas of chivalry as they went from place to place reciting poems of courtly love. Some time during the 13th century romance stories such as the legendary tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table gained popularity. We don’t know for a fact whether King Arthur really existed, but we do know that these stories further influenced the way a knight behaved toward their enemies, and toward women.
Then as more knights committed to the ideals of chivalry, it was necessary to develop and follow a strict code of conduct for courtly love. A knight, for example, would single out a woman — usually one that was already married. He would worship her from afar, dedicating long love poems, and professing his eternal love and loyalty toward her. To prove his devotion, he would perform dangerous and courageous feats in order to impress her.
As I write this post, I recall a picture of a parade shield that I came across while doing research for my book. On the shield, there was an image of a knight kneeling before his lady, and the motto stretched across the top were: You or Death.
Now, if that’s not true devotion, then what is?”
You can read more about One True Knight right here on Medieval Romances.
And remember to keep an eye out for the other upcoming books in Dana’s The Knights of Honor Trilogy.