Episode 158: Danièle Cybulskie – Chivalry and Courtesy: Medieval Manners for a Modern World

A chat with noted medievalist Danièle Cybulskie about her new book, Chivalry and Courtesy: Medieval Manners for a Modern World.






Amazon Links for Chivalry and Courtesy

Danièle Cybulskie’s Amazon Page

About the Book

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 etiquette from the time of Chaucer to the court of Elizabeth I, 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 courtiers’ handbooks 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 “be companionable no matter who you are with” and to not “chew on bones because that is what dogs do.”

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.

Praise for  Danièle Cybulskie’s Chivalry and Courtesy

“Playful, learned, and bursting with golden nuggets of information―a joyful book that shows us how medieval history still matters in surprising ways.” ― Dan Jones, New York Times bestselling author and presenter of Netflix’s Secrets of Great British Castles

“A must read for anyone who wants to brush up on the finer points of etiquette, or who just wants to be a better human being.” ― Eleanor Janega, author of The Once and Future Sex: Going Medieval on Women’s Roles in Society and creator of the blog Going Medieval

“Daniele Cybulskie has done it again: no one is better at bringing the medieval world to life. . . . There’s so much to learn from the Middle Ages, and this wonderful book―supremely elegant, witty, expert, and wise―is the ideal guide.” ― Helen Castor, medieval historian, broadcaster, and author of She-Wolves and Joan of Arc

About Danièle Cybulskie

As a writer, podcaster, TEDx and professional speaker, Danièle has been making the Middle Ages fun, entertaining, and accessible for over a decade. A former college professor, she is the author of four books and hundreds of articles on medieval history.

The creator and host of The Medieval Podcast and ExtraMedieval, Danièle brings expertise and a sense of humour to the airwaves to dispel common myths about the medieval period, and enrich our understanding about the people of the past.

Her writing, videos, and podcasts have been used as resources in elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, and universities across North America. The Middle Ages and the Modern World: Facts and Fiction, a course she co-created, is currently offered at eight colleges across Ontario via OntarioLearn.

In 2020, Danièle built The Medieval Masterclass for Creators, an online course designed to provide novelists, game developers, and other fiction creators with expert information in a visual format to help them bring their medieval worlds to life. She continues to offer her expertise to creators through one-on-one consulting.

Called a “tireless champion promoting medieval studies to both general and academic audiences”, Danièle is the winner of the 2019 Lone Medievalist Prize for Scholarly Outreach for The Medieval Podcast, and the 200+ articles she has contributed to Medievalists.net.

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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