Amazon.com description: Product Description
: Every aspect of "courtly culture" comes to life in Joachim Bumke's extraordinarily rich and well-documented presentation. A renowned medievalist with an encyclopedic knowledge of original sources and a passion for history, Bumke overlooks no detail, from the material realities of aristocratic society -- the castles and clothing, weapons and transportation, food, drink, and table etiquette -- to the behavior prescribed and practiced at tournaments, knighting ceremonies, and great princely feasts. The courtly knight and courtly lady, and the transforming idea of courtly love, are seen through the literature that celebrated them, and we learn how literacy among an aristocratic laity spread from France through Germany and became the basis of a cultural revolution. At the same time, Bumke clearly challenges those who have comfortably confused the ideals of courtly culture with their expression in courtly society.