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John Hawkwood

An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy

William Caferro

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Winner, 2008 Otto Gründler Book Prize, The Medieval Institute

Winner, 2008 Otto Gründler Book Prize, The Medieval Institute

Notorious for his cleverness and daring, John Hawkwood was the most feared mercenary in early Renaissance Italy. Born in England, Hawkwood began his career in France during the Hundred Years' War and crossed into Italy with the famed White Company in 1361. From that time until his death in 1394, Hawkwood fought throughout the peninsula as a captain of armies in times of war and as a commander of marauding bands during times of peace. He achieved international fame, and city…

Winner, 2008 Otto Gründler Book Prize, The Medieval Institute

Winner, 2008 Otto Gründler Book Prize, The Medieval Institute

Notorious for his cleverness and daring, John Hawkwood was the most feared mercenary in early Renaissance Italy. Born in England, Hawkwood began his career in France during the Hundred Years' War and crossed into Italy with the famed White Company in 1361. From that time until his death in 1394, Hawkwood fought throughout the peninsula as a captain of armies in times of war and as a commander of marauding bands during times of peace. He achieved international fame, and city-states constantly tried to outbid each other for his services, for which he received money, land, and, in the case of Florence, citizenship—a most unusual honor for an Englishman. When Hawkwood died, the Florentines buried him with great ceremony in their cathedral, an honor denied their greatest poet, Dante.

William Caferro's ambitious account of Hawkwood is both a biography and a study of warfare and statecraft. Caferro has mined more than twenty archives in Britain and Italy, creating an authoritative portrait of Hawkwood as an extraordinary military leader, if not always an admirable human being.

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John Hawkwood

William Caferro

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Reviews

Reviews

This is much more than a biography in the ordinary sense of the word... An excellent contribution to our understanding of both the mercenary phenomenon and the history of Italy in the late fourteenth century.

Engaging book... Caferro has made sense of the life of a mercenary captain, who during his career influenced diplomacy, altered finances, and changed lives in fourteenth-century Italy.

A model of clear writing and an authoritative treatment of the military and political situation in Italy from the 1360s.

It is... so well written and provides such a gripping account of John Hawkwood and his milieu that it will surely gain a wide audience among general readers as well.

The depth of Caferro's archival research has established him as Hawkwood's preeminent biographer.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
480
ISBN
9781421418414
Illustration Description
8 halftones, 8 line drawings
Table of Contents

List of Figures and Maps
Preface
Hawkwood Chronology
Introduction
1. John Hawkwood in Perspective
Part I
2. Essex Lad, King's Soldier, and Member of the White Company, 1323–1363
3. Italy and the Profession

List of Figures and Maps
Preface
Hawkwood Chronology
Introduction
1. John Hawkwood in Perspective
Part I
2. Essex Lad, King's Soldier, and Member of the White Company, 1323–1363
3. Italy and the Profession of Arms
Part II
4. The Fox and the Lion
5. John Hawkwood of Pisa and Milan, 1365–1372
6. In the Service of God and Mammon, 1372–1375
Part III
7. John Hawkwood and the War of Eight Saints, 1375–1377
8. Love and Diplomacy, 1377–1379
9. At Home in the Romagna, 1379–1381
10. Neapolitan Soldier and Tuscan Lord, 1381–1384
Part IV
11. The Deal with the Devil, the Birth of a Son, and a Victory at Castagnaro, 1385–1387
12. At the Center of the Storm
13. The War against Milan, 1390–1392
14. Two Weddings, a Funeral, and a Disputed Legacy, 1392–1394–1412
Conclusion
Appendixes
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

William Caferro

William Caferro, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt professor of history at Vanderbilt University, is the author of Mercenary Companies and the Decline of Siena and Contesting the Renaissance and the coauthor of The Spinelli of Florence: Fortunes of a Renaissance Merchant Family.