Who and what were the knights? How did they live? Castle-builders, royal henchmen, battle-enthusiasts and holy warriors all rolled into one, they are among history’s enigmas. The lives of men like Heinrich Thangeln and Reinbold von Rappoldstein vividly illustrate how an ordinary rider could eventually become a knight. They were like the Grand Prix drivers of the Middle Ages: celebrities, risk-takers, and showmen. Yet, theirs was not just a man’s world: female knights were not unheard of, including Joan of Arc and the almost forgotten ladies of the Ordre de la Hache of Spain. The realities of life as a knight are often staggering, tough and more than a little surprising.