FORTUNE MADE HIS SWORD by Martha Rofheart

FORTUNE MADE HIS SWORD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Miss Rofheart uses the multi-viewpoint narration, employed by Rosemary Jarman so successfully on behalf of Richard III (p. 765), to sketch the career of Henry V of England; and though it does not generate the same pitch of excitement in story or character as Jarman's, this novel has a careful solidity. The first narrator is Henry of Monmouth as a boy, who was eventually held as a not unhappy hostage at the court of Richard II while his father Bolingbroke was on the march. Richard is handsome, capricious, probably homosexual, and dangerous -- a traditional estimate. Then follow accounts by Morgan, spirited natural daughter of Owen Glendower of Wales, Henry's first and lasting love; Hercules, a Fool of Henry IV; an English Knight-at-Arms who reports on battles and Henry's lusty adventures in camp; and Henry's ""Kitten,"" his Queen, Katherine of Valois. In general Henry is seen from afar -- his military victories, disagreements with his father and his youthful interest in the Lollards. The next to last entry, representing the thoughts of a dying King Henry V, is appropriately autumnal. Once beyond the explication necessary to untangle the Plantagenets, Lancastrians, and Welsh (Owen Tudor's rise is forecast), the author moves easily through castles, festivals, and trysts. A modest entertainment and a goodly tale.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1971
Publisher: Putnam