Blogging from A-Z April 2018 Challenge

K is for the Knight of the Tower

Geoffrey IV de la Tour Landry (before 1330-between 1402 and 1406) was a French nobleman from Anjou who fought in the Hundred Years War. The ruins of La Tour Landry can be seen today between Cholet and Vezins.

In 1371–1372 Geoffrey compiled Le Livre pour l’enseignement de ses filles (literally, A Book for the Instruction of his Daughters, but in English often called The Book of the Knight of the Tower). Geoffrey had previously written a similar text for his sons, according to his preface in this text, but it has disappeared. The book became one of the most popular educational treatises of the Late Middle Ages.

Le Livre pour l’enseignement de ses filles served to teach De la Tour Landry’s daughters proper behaviour when visiting the royal court, which, the knight warns, is filled with smooth-talking courtiers who could potentially disgrace them and embarrass the family. Geoffrey was a widower and concerned for his daughters’ welfare. He takes a strong moral stance against the behaviour of his peers and warns his daughters about the dangers of vanity.

Le Livre was translated into German, as Der Ritter vom Turn, and into Dutch as Dē spiegel der duecht. William Caxton translated the work into English and printed it as The Book of the Knight of the Tower in 1483.

Geoffrey de la Tour Landry. The Book of the Knight of the Tower: Manners for Young Medieval Women. Edited and translated by Rebecca Barnhouse. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

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