THE SILVER PLUME by Arthur Meeker


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A long way in time and tempo from (1949), and closer to the earlier this reconstruction of the French Court of Louis XIV and an actual historical incident provides a satisfying narrative. The story concerns the young Duc de Rohan who had been abducted and placed as an apprentice in the home of a Dutch linen draper, and through the duplicity of the Marquis de Ruvigny the boy has no knowledge of his identity. De Ruvigny also betrays the boy's widowed mother, but some years later regrets his action and frees the youngster from his exile in Holland and attempts to restitute his title and estate. The young Duc de Rohan takes his exalted position with surprising grace, but is offended by the treachery, malice and immorality of the court. His final disillusionment comes with his mother's revelation that he is perhaps not the son of the Duc de Rohan, although the silver plume in his dark curls bears witness to his heritage. With his entry into the king's forces, he meets a hero's death... A quiet, sensitive story that strives, not entirely successfully, to make several deep points about man's identity and the meaning of nobility, which lends a certain substance and stature to period entertainment.

Publisher: Knopf