"Henry, duke of Lancaster, is one of the greatest military leaders of the century. He leads an Anglo-Gascon army to victory after victory in 1345. And yet what are his pastimes and pleasures? He likes all the usual things—hunting, feasting, and, by his own admission, seducing women, especially peasant girls—but he also loves the song of the nightingale and the scents of roses, musk, violets, and lily of the valley. The image of a great war leader closing his eyes and inhaling the aroma of flowers reminds us that some medieval lords are very far from being two-dimensional violent thugs. Henry even writes a book of spiritual devotion. There is poetry and sophistication in such men, intellectual awareness, human kindness, and generosity of spirit. And there is deep sincerity too. When the same duke swears an oath not to give up a siege until he has planted his banner on the walls of the castle, you can be sure that he intends to fulfill it. Not even a direct order from the king himself can persuade him to do otherwise. Perhaps one of the things which will amaze you most of all is how often a man in armor—a fighting machine—will resolutely stand by what he personally believes is virtuous. And how easily he can be moved to tears."
—The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer