ABSTRACT

The English, wrote the Milanese Raimondo de Soncino in 1497, ‘require every comfort even in the ardour of war’. His words were echoed in the report written for the Venetian envoy Andrea Trevisan in 1498: ‘I have it on the best information, that when war is raging most furiously, they will seek for good eating, and all their other comforts, without thinking of what harm might befall them.’ 1 One of Malory’s knights warned against such temptation: ‘They will put forth beasts to bait you out of number.’ 2