HERO TALES FROM THE AGE OF CHIVALRY: Retold from the Froissart Chronicles by Grant Uden

HERO TALES FROM THE AGE OF CHIVALRY: Retold from the Froissart Chronicles

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Based on the standard Berners translation, twelve incidents taken from Froissart, restructured and sometimes amplified for modern audiences. The last is the best: Richard II, every inch a king at fourteen, facing a mob as Wat Tyler's just-killed body lies before them, winning their allegiance with a few words and his regal bearing. The Hundred Years' War is the background--the battles of Crecy and Poitiers, the siege of Calais--but here related incidents are made central: Queen Philippa pleads for the burghers of Calais when Edward III will listen to no one else; Edward gives a captive knight a pearl chaplet (small crown) and releases him because of his bravery; a seized banner triggers a fierce battle (the English-Scots battle of Otterburn). Several include Sir Walter Manny, a chevalier to be sure, and a few even have humorous situations: the one-eyed French constable is saved by falling through a baker's half-opened door; a captor subsequently becomes a captive and he and his ""prisoner"" cancel out each other's ransom. Some of the material is interpolated but, identified as such, it comes from Froissart's contemporaries and contains information that Froissart knew (e.g. the appearance of Philippa). The intricacies of a four-day tournament are appended. A vigorous, highly selective sampling, retold for the nonce.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1969
Publisher: World