March 10, 2003

The Little Duke, Charlotte M. Yonge

In summary, our little Norman Duke is orphaned as a child and overcomes the oppressive French King by remembering the Christian admonition his father gave him to forgive; also because his unChristianized Norse-man cousins send a military force by longboats in his support. Yonge has explanatory footnotes in the original from her old French sources, and may be dull because she hewed as far as possible to the known history.

I've read that forged paintings often pass for a generation, after which it becomes obvious that they're forged, because they're dated by their appeal to the fashions of their actual day. similarly, despite the tough Norman upbringing of our tender Duke, the novel is sugary and dull in a specially Victorian-kid-lit way; he drops a tear but never argues with himself or his teachers, much less attempts to rebel against them. Pity, since internal debate is my favorite thing in Victorian adult literature.

URL: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=3048 So wrote clew in Fiction (19th c.).

And thus wrote others:
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