The Prince and the Page: A Story of the Last Crusade by Charlotte M. Yonge
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Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. This etext was produced by David Price, email ccx coventry. In these days of exactness even a child's historical romance must point to what the French term its pieces justficatives. We own that ours do not lie very deep.
The picture of Simon de Montfort drawn by his wife's own household books, as quoted by Mrs.
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The household accounts show that Earl Simon and Eleanor of England had five sons. Henry fell with his father at Evesham.
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Simon and Guy deeply injured his cause by their violence, and after holding out Kenilworth against the Prince, retired to the Continent, where they sacrilegiously murdered Henry, son of the King of the Romans--a crime so much abhorred in Italy that Dante represents himself as meeting them in torments in the Inferno, not however before Guy had become the founder of the family of the Counts of Monforte in the Maremma. Richard, the fourth son, appears in the household books as possessing dogs, and having garments bought for him; but his history has not been traced after his mother left England.
Simon tells Richard that he holds his mountain fortress: For King Simon, an it like you better! None can touch me or my merry band there, and a goodly company we are — pilgrims grown wiser, and runaway captives, and druses, and bold Arabs too: Nothing has been wanting to me but thee and vengeance, and both are, I hope, on the way!
Although the corruption of the crusaders takes place from within their own ranks, Yonge nonetheless expresses this corruption in terms of the colonization of European civilization by Eastern values. Anxieties about the overlap between Eastern and Western cultures appear most clearly in her descrptions of architecture in the East.
This city, with its blend of civilizations, is a particularly fertile site for meditating on the collapse of Western civilizations that attempted to take root in the East. The novel's initial description of the city chronicles the replacement of classical civilization with Eastern architecture: Utterly blotted out was Carthage. Half demolished, half choked with sand, the city of Dido, the city of Hannibal, the city of Cyprian — all had vanished alike, and nothing remained erect but a Moorish fortress, built up with fragments of the huge stones of the old Phoenicians, intermixed with the friezes and sculptures of Graecizing Rome, and the whole fabric in the graceful Saracenic taste; while completing the strange mixture of periods, another of those mournful French banners drooped from the battlements, and around it spread the white tents of the armies of France and the Two Sicilies, like it with trailing banners; an orphaned plague-stricken host in a ruined city.
Although Yonge does not posit a direct relationship between the demolishment and choking of the city and the still-erect Moorish fortress, the metaphorical relationship between the unsuccessful crusade and the ruined city is clear. Through tropes such as these, which persist throughout the novel, Yonge allows her individual heroes to gain victory over their Eastern opponents even as she indicates that the crusade itself, due to its corruption and internal incoherency, is doomed to failure.
The Prince and the Page; a story of the last crusade
As a material object, the Holy Sepulchre has lost its draw for Richard; the recovery of the city of Jerusalem takes second place to the establishment of an ethic of male loyalty and self-sacrifice. The East thus becomes a retreat designed for internal reflection and the restitution of domestic bonds between men. This end accomplished, Edward returns his attention to the restitution of domestic harmony within England and his own family. To make England the land of law, peace, and order.
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