SERPENT AMONGST THE LILIES by Paul Doherty

SERPENT AMONGST THE LILIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Matthew Jankyn, the cocky knave first seen in The Whyte Harte, now living in nonagenarian splendor in his house in Shropshire, dictates this tale from his younger days to a wheyfaced, much-disapproving cleric. It concerns his spying on La Poucelle, Jehanne d'Arc, for his former Lord and Master, Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and Cardinal of England. Beaufort wanted to know: Was she a witch. . .or was the Maid truly sent to deliver France from her enemies? Accordingly, Matthew crossed the Channel, joined her armies, and observed her missions ""On Behalf of the King of Heaven""--or so her field banner proclaimed. In the story as it takes place back then, treacheries abound. As do treasons. Not to mention fleas, lice, vermin, trapdoors, dark recesses, cold stones, arrows, knives, heavy armor, and jealous, stupid Frenchmen, particularly a certain Dauphin--who lets Jehanne be cloaked, hooded, and put to the stake. But was it really Jehanne under the hood? And what if any part did Beaufort play in her escape to warrant his displaying her ring years later? Lively analysis of war tactics of the 1400's, and a genuinely touching interaction between the Maid and Matthew, the scoundrel. In all, a moving depiction of a cause and its champions.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's