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I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince by Rosanne Lortz

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Rowan
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I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince by Rosanne Lortz

Post by Rowan » Wed April 18th, 2012, 6:38 pm

As mentioned elsewhere on this forum, my mother has gotten into doing the family genealogy - at least on her side of the family. A cousin of mine living in North Carolina has made a few trips to England in search of information and has apparently managed to trace one branch of ye olde tree to Edward the Black Prince. Being a lover of historical fiction, I decided to search for any available HF about the Black Prince. Unfortunately, I found only one, this book. I snagged it for my Kindle since it was only $2.99. Considering I know little of this man, I felt it to be a worthy investment.

The story is told, as most historical fiction is, from the point of view of someone close to the subject of the novel. In this case, it is told by a friend and companion of Edward, Sir John Potenhale, as he is relating his story to the widow of someone Potenhale considered a friend and mentor. The story opens with Sir John seeking out the widow in the village where she lives so that he may deliver a gift to her and when she asks him to tell her his story, he begins with the day he became a knight. As the story unfolds, we see a poor young man who is a squire become a knight and trusted companion to the Prince of Wales. He accompanies the prince and king on forays into France in an effort to retake what Edward III believes belongs rightfully to him. The book closes with Edward Woodstock on the verge of marrying his cousin Joan of Kent.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed April 18th, 2012, 7:19 pm

But was the story engagingly told? I have this on my Kindle, and I keep looking at it, but so far haven't gotten beyond the first couple pages.

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 4:43 pm

I enjoyed it. The first few pages are kinda boring because he's just looking for this woman, but once he finds her and starts telling his tale, I thought it was engaging enough. Then again, my standards are pretty low.

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Post by Susan » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 9:55 pm

I just got this for free for my Kindle (Thanks, Misfit) and I think I may read it when I am done with my current book. Just so we can put somewhat of a face on Edward, the Black Prince, here's a photo I took of his tomb when I visited Canterbury Cathedral.

Image
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
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Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 10:48 pm

I suppose part of what is holding me back is knowing that he ordered the massacre of every man, woman and child in Limoges -- excepting the few rich enough to buy him off. It was a shocking act even by the standards of the day.

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Post by Misfit » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 11:31 pm

I've heard mixed opinions (one friend didn't finish). I picked it up earlier this week on the freebie sale (you are welcome Susan), but have no idea when I'm getting to it. I'm just not in a medieval mood at the moment. Although I wouldn't turn down a new Chadwick or Penman...
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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Mon May 7th, 2012, 5:29 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I suppose part of what is holding me back is knowing that he ordered the massacre of every man, woman and child in Limoges -- excepting the few rich enough to buy him off. It was a shocking act even by the standards of the day.[/quote]

Okay this takes place during a very short period of Edward's life, many years before that happened. Probably written this way to avoid any of the bad parts of his life?

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The Czar
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Post by The Czar » Wed May 9th, 2012, 3:15 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I suppose part of what is holding me back is knowing that he ordered the massacre of every man, woman and child in Limoges -- excepting the few rich enough to buy him off. It was a shocking act even by the standards of the day.[/quote]

Well, you don't get the sobriquet "Black Prince" without doing some naughty stuff I suppose.
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Post by SonjaMarie » Wed May 9th, 2012, 5:31 pm

[quote=""The Czar""]Well, you don't get the sobriquet "Black Prince" without doing some naughty stuff I suppose.[/quote]

Except I think he got it from black armor he supposedly wore.

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Wed May 9th, 2012, 11:05 pm

He was not called the Black Prince in his lifetime. He was called Edward of Woodstock (after where he was born) or one of his titles, such Prince of Wales. Black Prince was first used in a couple of histories written more than 150 years after his death and Shakespeare used it in two of his plays. I'd bet it was the Shakespeare plays that made it a common sobriquet for Edward. There are theories as to where Black Prince came from as already mentioned, his armor or shield, or his reputation, but they are only theories.

Edward's shield below does have a black field and the three ostrich feathers and the motto "Ich dien" ("I serve" in German) have been used by all subsequent Princes of Wales.


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Last edited by Susan on Wed May 9th, 2012, 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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