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When Knighthood Was in Flower (1898)

af Edwin Caskoden

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1315159,464 (3.36)9
Published in 1898, Major's first novel was a bestseller in the United States for over three years. Set in the time of Henry VIII, the novel is a historical romance that focuses on the forbidden love of Henry's younger sister, Mary, and a commoner, Chris Brandon. This is the exciting story of their fight against and eventual acceptance of their love.… (mere)
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Viser 5 af 5
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  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
A highly enjoyable historical romance set in the court of King Henry VIII. The story concerns the young sister of Henry, Mary Tudor (1496-1533) and her efforts to marry for love and not state reasons. At age 18, Henry forced her to marry the King of France, Louis XII, even though she was in love with Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Mary was married to the French king for 3 months, when he died unexpectedly.

With the death of the French King, Henry ordered that his sister return to England for another political marriage. He sent his friend Charles Brandon to escort her back. However, the couple married in secret in France. Technically this was treason, as Brandon had married a Royal Princess without the King's consent. Henry was outraged, and the Privy Council urged that Brandon should be imprisoned or executed. Due to the intervention of Cardinal Wolsey, and Henry's affection for both his sister and Brandon, the couple were let off with a heavy fine. ( )
  ramon4 | Sep 21, 2016 |
I'm gullible and uneducated enough to have mostly believed the entire story was written by a descendant of Sir Edwin Caskoden. Thank goodness for educated reviews such as Anniemod's, the reading of which really enhanced this delightful love story for me.

Here are two quotes from the book that illustrate why I liked it so much:

1. "How rich is a man who has laid up such treasures of memory to grow the sweeter as he feeds upon them. A rich memory is better than hope, for it lasts after fruition, and serves us at a time when hope has failed and fruition is but - a memory. Ah! how we cherish it in our hearts, and how it comes at our beck and call to thrill us through and through and make us thank God that we have lived, and wonder in our hearts why he has given poor undeserving us so much."

2. "I never doubt a friend; one would better be trustful of ninety-nine friends who are false than doubtful of one who is true. Suspicion and supersensitiveness are at once the badge and the bane of a little soul." ( )
  Merryann | Jul 13, 2014 |
Bowlderized, Victorian telling of the love story between Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. ( )
  Bjace | Jan 23, 2012 |
There are two ways to describe this book:
- A 19th century novel about an epic love inspired by one of the interesting stories from the Tudor times
- A story of the love of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon at the beginning of the 16th century.

Both descriptions would be correct and at the same time, both of them will be wrong. Judged based on any of them, the book has a lot of flaws and if the reader expects any of the above, they probably will not like the book. What the book actually end up being is an amalgam of the two- more a 19th century book than a 16th century one but still keeping the spirit of the Tudors times... in some ways.

Meet Edwin Caskoden - a master of the dance of Henry VIII (no, you had not forgotten your Tudors history - don't start looking for that particular title). A few generations later one of his descendants will publish part of his memoirs - and the story he picks is the story of one of the most romantic loves in the Tudors history - the one between Mary Tudor(the first one - Henry's sister) and Charles Brandon.

The book is published at the end of the 19th century and the language used in it shows that clearly. The author actually explains why he chose to do that instead of publishing the memoirs as they were. So the premise is set, the language is clarified and the story can unfold. And the story flows as a good late Victorian novel - with the proper expected behaviour of everyone in the book and with as many historical inaccuracies as the author managed to invent in order to make the already unbelievable story almost magical. The spirit of the Tudors court is somewhere there but in most cases the book sounds more like the court of Victoria than the one from 4 centuries earlier. But even then, you are almost compelled to believe that this is a Tudor tale(even when the author slips and mentions that a country under a queen prospers(as a comment of the Salic law in France -- a courtier of the Tudors times would not have a reference for such a note considering that chaos that had been created from the rule of the only independent queen before the Tudors).

And that's where I am back to my initial descriptions - anyone expecting a Tudor novel will be disappointed; anyone expecting a Victorian one might like it a bit better but still probably will not consider it a really good one. But if you know what to expect, the novel is charming - especially if you are fond both of the Victorian novels and of the Tudors period. And despite the fact that Mary (and especially Jane) sound more Victorian than Tudor, the spirit of the time is there and even the historical half-truths and plain imagination stories (the way in which Charles gained access to the court for example) adds to the tapestry of the novel. And a rich tapestry it is.

Overall - I liked the book - but a big part of the reason is that I knew what to expect exactly. Without that, I would have probably called it a pseudo-Tudor Victorian romance - the mixing of the two eras is hard to work out... and it's not that easy to switch from one to the other the way the book would force you to if you do not know the history behind it. ( )
7 stem AnnieMod | Jul 8, 2011 |
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Published in 1898, Major's first novel was a bestseller in the United States for over three years. Set in the time of Henry VIII, the novel is a historical romance that focuses on the forbidden love of Henry's younger sister, Mary, and a commoner, Chris Brandon. This is the exciting story of their fight against and eventual acceptance of their love.

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