The status of prisoners of war was firmly rooted in the practice of
ransoming in the Middle Ages. By the opening stages of the Hundred
Years War, ransoming had become widespread among the knightly
community, and the crown had already begun to exercise tighter
control over the practice of war. This led to tensions between
public and private interests over ransoms and prisoners of war.
Historians have long emphasised the significance of the French and
English crowns' interference in the issue of prisoners of war, but
this original and stimulating study questions whether they have
been too influenced by the state-centred nature of most surviving
sources. Based on extensive archival research, this book tests
customs, laws and theory against the individual experiences of
captors and prisoners during the Hundred Years War, to evoke their
world in all its complexity.
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