Chivalry and Courtesy: Medieval Manners For a Modern World by Daniele Cybulskie Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 


Author Daniele Cybulskie shares the rituals and etiquette that drove medieval society in the book “Chivalry and Courtesy: Medieval Manners For a Modern World”. 


The Synopsis

A surprising look at how medieval etiquette can improve our lives today, from the author of the popular How to Live Like a Monk

Medieval people are often portrayed as having poor hygiene and table manners—licking their knives or throwing chicken bones on the floor. In the Middle Ages, however, such behavior was not tolerated. Medieval society cherished order in nearly every facet of life, from regular handwashing to daily prayer. There were consequences if you didn’t adhere to the rules of good behavior: you wouldn’t be invited to the lord’s next dinner, you wouldn’t win the battle, and you wouldn’t win the lady.

Author Daniele Cybulskie explores the world of medieval etiquette, encompassing table manners and interpersonal relationships as well as running a household and ruling a kingdom. With wit and insight, Cybulskie draws on a wide variety of primary sources, from handbooks for young knights to romantic poems. Though we may no longer need best practices for things like dueling or ordering about our servants, the principles of generosity, kindness, and respect still apply today. After all, it’s a good reminder to “not talk when you have food in your mouth” and “anything you say should be entertaining, polite, and sophisticated.”

Illustrated with original drawings by Anna Lobanova as well as eighty medieval artworks, Chivalry and Courtesy is full of good advice for everyone, whether you are a peasant or a knight, a student or a CEO, a king or a queen.

Take a Food Journey Around the World!

The Review

This was one of the most fascinating and compelling looks into life in the Middle Ages. The history and knowledge the author is able to impart, and the detail that goes into each and every aspect of society at that time, was incredible to see come to life on the page. The heart and passion for which the author wrote about this subject were felt greatly throughout the book and made the reader feel more connected to the subject matter.

The history and the balance the author struck with our more modern ideals was the heart of this book. The detailed writing style really brought this time period to life, and the way the author delved into everything from how to eat to how to court and so much more really highlighted the chivalry of the time period. The author did a great job of also stripping away the core values of these etiquette lessons and applying them through a modern lens. 

The Verdict

Memorable, thought-provoking, and engaging, author Daniele Cybulskie’s “Chivalry and Courtesy” is a must-read nonfiction book on history and etiquette. The detail and fascinating historical facts that the author brings to life, and the inside look into life during the Middle Ages in England and France, made this a truly mesmerizing book that is not to be missed. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

As a writer, professor, TEDx speaker, and now podcaster, Danièle has been making the Middle Ages fun, entertaining, and accessible for over ten years. She is the author of The Five-Minute Medievalist, which debuted at the top of Amazon’s Canadian charts, and through her featured articles at, as well as those she’s written for several international magazines, Danièle’s work has been read over half a million times, and counting.

Danièle is the creator and host of The Medieval Podcast, a weekly interview show on which she speaks with experts on the Middle Ages on a wide variety of topics. She also currently teaches The Middle Ages and the Modern World: Facts and Fiction, which she co-created for college students across Ontario via OntarioLearn. Her forthcoming book, Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction, is being published by Pen & Sword History, and will be available in autumn, 2019.

When she’s not reading, writing, or recording, Danièle can be found drinking tea, doing Krav Maga, or sometimes building a backyard trebuchet.

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