John Hawkwood: Diabolical Englishman

Eoin Purcell

From Flickr user <a href="">dvdbramhall</a>
From Flickr user dvdbramhall

Image owned by dvdbramhall, cc

Battles & Such
Some years ago I read a fascinating biography of John Hawkwood an English condottiero (mercenary) in 14th century Italy. His story was a fascinating one. It was called John Hawkwood: Diabolical Englishman and it was written by Frances Stonor Saunders. I’d encourage anyone interested in the period of Italian history to read the book. It will help you get under the skin of a very, very complicated society.

The reason I raise this today is that I stumbled across an interesting note about today’s date on Wikipedia:

1387 – Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood leads Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.

A little digging around the world of online material yields some interesting results. There is the preview version of John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-century Italy by William Caferro. The book page on Google Books is full of information and really a very rich resource worth visiting. It certainly beats the pants off the book page for Frances Stonor Saunders’ book.

Worth reading more on Hawkwood I suggest, if only as a way to understand what was a very confusing period.

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