In the 12th century the military religious orders were formed. Courageous, formidably organised, often savagely brutal, their task was to defend the Holy Land from the infidel. This is their violent and colourful story - of the desperate defence of Rhodes under siege by the turks; the grisly exchange of mutilated corpses at malta; the terrible persecution of the templars, accused by the inquisition of blasphemy and "unnatural vice". Originally published in 1972, the book bought together the histories of the Knights Templar, the Hospitallers, the Teutonic knights and the lesser-known orders. The text has been revised by the author for this new edition.
Desmond Seward was born in Paris and educated at Cambridge University. He is the author of Richard III: England's Black Legend, The Monks of War, and The War of the Roses.