England under the Normans and Angevins, 1066-1272

By H. W. C. Davis | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER XI
THE CRUSADE OF RICHARD I

WITH Richard's coronation a knight-errant succeeded to a statesman. At heart the new King much resembled those adventurers who had clustered round his elder brother, following their landless lord for the sheer love of a predatory and nomad life, and repairing tattered fortunes by the spoils and the ransoms of those whom they unhorsed in tournaments. Richard's open hand and reckless daring, his indifference to prudential considerations and the duties of common life, his contempt for the ordinary rules of morals and his fidelity to the fantastic code of chivalry, stamped him as the type of a class of which England hitherto had seen little, but with which the Continent had been only too familiar for a century and more. Rufus had prefigured Richard; but in the Lion-Heart there was an emotional susceptibility to high ideals which made him a greater man than Rufus, though it made him at least as bad a ruler. There would be much to say in Richard's favour, even as a king, if he had succeeded in imparting to his island subjects a spark of the fiery ardour which drove him to a hopeless struggle in the East. For the self-centred, plodding, material Englishman it would have been a moral education to realise the inner meaning of the aspiration which had consumed so many noble minds from the time of Godfrey de Bouillon. In the wretchedness of Stephen's reign a certain number had risen to the height of renouncing self for the common good of Christendom. But returning prosperity had brought with it a more complacent and more selfish temper; and lofty purposes had withered in the atmosphere of order and security. To recall the better impulses of the forgotten past would have been, on Richard's part, a benefit of a nobler kind than the adroitest continuation of his father's administrative labours. The heaviest charge against him is that he made

Character of Richard

-286-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
England under the Normans and Angevins, 1066-1272
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 620

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?