“Pillars of Knighthood: The Evolution of English Knights, 1066-1685” follows how knights in England changed as a class from the Late Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Knights started as a militaristic aristocracy, as their main contribution to the kingdom was their martial prowess and they were aristocracy because they owned land. Over time, their role in the military decreased as they became more important as status symbols of nobility. They did not stop fighting completely, as tournaments became increasingly extravagant and significant.
The research looks at three pillars of knighthood: chivalry, armor, and nobility. These each have their own section within the paper and use their own sources to show the evolution of the pillars. The section on chivalry uses Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory from 1485, a romantic work of literature that focuses on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to show how society of the time thought of knights and chivalry. The section on armor highlights the differences in armor by using images of armor from the Cleveland Museum of Art. And the nobility section uses a list of the members of Parliament from England to determine that, as time went on, knights became members of Parliament; which means that their role as nobility larger than their role as a militaristic aristocracy.