"The true knights we love to read about never push an advantage too far"

The adventures of knights featured prominently in Medieval and Renaissance literature, with Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur (a.1471) being the best-known example. This epic work conjures up a world in which honour and valour provide the main support for social cohesion and personal identity. The principles to which the governess refers are typified by Merlin's warning to King Arthur not to do battle with Sir Egglame: “for the knight is weary of fighting and chasing, so that ye shall have no worship to have ado with him” (Bk. I, ch. xxiii).