using (mainly) Paris, Northern France, London and Brussels archives
working on an extensive range of documents including petitions, letters of grace and remission, legal cases, contractual agreements, safe-conducts, financial accounts, diplomatic records, news reports and all sorts of correspondence, etc.
reading Old French, Anglo-Norman, Middle English and Latin.
1. The crisis of capitulation: surrender of castles and urban communities (1400-1450)
Surrender - a key concept to the ‘culture of war' - has a controversial issue across history and cultures, representing a sustained threat to the safety of civilians and soldiers. Surrender is central to international and civil wars in fifteenth-century France and England, which were arguably not lost or won on the battlefield (e.g. Agincourt) but before or within the walls of towns and castles through negotiation. The hypothesis lies at the heart of the project which will fill a gap in our understanding of the conduct of war and make significant contribution to the psychology of surrender.
The work on this project has been funded by The Leverhulme Trust through their Early Career Fellowship scheme from 1 January 2012 to 1 January 2014. I have collected a vast amount of documents during this period which will form the basis of a research monograph and various other published outcomes. I have given papers on different aspects of this topic (ex.: St Andrews, Leeds, Nancy, Lille, Winchester and Cambridge) and I am keen to receive invitations to speak.
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.
Media Coverage: BBC (24 January 2013) Standaard (6 May 2013)