Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Lords of the White Castle by Elizabeth Chadwick

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4251
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Fri December 12th, 2008, 10:24 pm

The phrase was always good King Richard (Lionheart) and bad King John, wasn't it? I'm sure that's how we were taught at school.

Is Fulke and Fulke LeBrun particular favourite characters of yours, EC? They do come over as rather nice men and very interesting too. Memorable as well.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Post by EC2 » Fri December 12th, 2008, 10:40 pm

[
QUOTE=Vanessa;14671]The phrase was always good King Richard (Lionheart) and bad King John, wasn't it? I'm sure that's how we were taught at school.
Yes, that's what we were taught too, but then sometimes you're taught things that don't hold water. I'm not sure Richard was all that good either - although a military hero definitely. John's biographer sums John up rather well in the closing sentence of his book about him. 'He had the mental abilities of a great king but the inclinations of a petty tyrant.'
men and very interesting too. Memorable as well.[/QUOTE]
Is Fulke and Fulke LeBrun particular favourite characters of yours, EC? They do come over as rather nice
I think an author always has to rooting for the character they are writing about in the here and now, but I am very fond of both FitzWarin's. With Le Brun, there's a physical description of him, so that was useful. Not so with his son in LOTWC. Rather like William Marshal, the LOTWC Fulke had one heck of a life that you wouldn't believe if someone made it up!
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Telynor
Bibliophile
Posts: 1465
Joined: August 2008
Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Post by Telynor » Sat December 13th, 2008, 3:19 am

[quote=""EC2""][

Yes, that's what we were taught too, but then sometimes you're taught things that don't hold water. I'm not sure Richard was all that good either - although a military hero definitely. John's biographer sums John up rather well in the closing sentence of his book about him. 'He had the mental abilities of a great king but the inclinations of a petty tyrant.'
men and very interesting too. Memorable as well.[/quote]

That quote about John is perfect; but given his upbringing, I'm not surprised to see him acting out his anger and fustrations as an adult either (Nothing quite like going through long term therapy yourself to see things in others...). Richard, OTOH, would be classified today as an out and out narcissitic sociopath. And for England and the other Angevin possessions, Richard was a disaster -- he left his lands bankrupt, brimming with unrest, and a questionable succession.

[quote=""EC2""][
Rather like William Marshal, the LOTWC Fulke had one heck of a life that you wouldn't believe if someone made it up![/quote]

And that's what makes history so much fun! It's those little bits of surprise that make you sit up and take notice. One in American history I found was that rival presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day -- the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence! Throw that into a novel, and you'd be called an outright liar.

User avatar
LCW
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 756
Joined: August 2008
Location: Southern California

Post by LCW » Thu December 18th, 2008, 8:55 pm

I just have to say how much I'm loving this book! I think the reigning hunkiest medieval hunk, William Marshall, now has some competition from Fulke FitzWarin. He's quite a heartthrob!!
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Thu December 18th, 2008, 11:37 pm

wait until the wedding night......

Personally, I liked the father just a bit better in Shadows and Strongholds. But then he was a bit of a misfit as a child and you know I have a soft spot for misfits :o :) ;)

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2475
Joined: August 2008
Location: Arizona, USA

Post by Ash » Fri December 19th, 2008, 1:46 am

I also was more sympathetic to John after reading Dragons - and wondered about the real story. The more I read the more I realize his cruelty, but also wonder if he was that different from other kings? Or just got more attention because he was so unpopular?

User avatar
Carine
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 675
Joined: September 2008
Currently reading: Jonkvrouw - Jean-Claude Van Ryckeghem
Interest in HF: I love history
Favourite HF book: Can't pin that down to only 1 :-)
Preferred HF: Medieval, Tudor and Ancient Egyptian
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact:

Post by Carine » Fri December 19th, 2008, 7:13 am

I'm almost finishing Dragons (yes finally, but it wasn't the book, it was me, I had a couple of weeks that I was so tired that I wasn't able to do anything but sleep, or so it seemed, but this past week I had like too much energy, so it went like a train !)

Anyway, about Dragons and John : I've never read a story where John is portrayed like this. At the point where Joanna comes into his life I almost thought he was a good guy !! Until further on ofcourse ! Although I have to say that the general picture I have now of John has changed. I still see him as a terrible, even horrible and coniving king but somehow there's an underlying "better" streak in there.

User avatar
LCW
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 756
Joined: August 2008
Location: Southern California

Post by LCW » Fri December 19th, 2008, 4:40 pm

[quote=""Carine""] I still see him as a terrible, even horrible and coniving king but somehow there's an underlying "better" streak in there.[/quote]

The same goes for most people we think of as "evil" and who have been vilified throughout history. No one is ever 100% good or 100% evil!! We are all shades of grey. That's what makes historical ficiton so interesting to me. I love how each author will paint their own individual shade of grey onto each person they write about!
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Post by EC2 » Fri December 19th, 2008, 5:16 pm

I have to say that Here Be Dragons almost turned me around re John. Then I did more research, including going through some of his original letters. Along with the Akashic Record stuff, I've come to the conclusion that he really was not a nice person - in fact something of a psychopath. However, he did have an astute political brain and he was dealt some horrible hands by circumstances beyond his control that just deepened the hole he was in. My own view of John has become 'Why go by the straight route when you can take a twisting one.'
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Telynor
Bibliophile
Posts: 1465
Joined: August 2008
Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Post by Telynor » Sat December 20th, 2008, 12:21 am

[quote=""EC2""]I have to say that Here Be Dragons almost turned me around re John. Then I did more research, including going through some of his original letters. Along with the Akashic Record stuff, I've come to the conclusion that he really was not a nice person - in fact something of a psychopath. However, he did have an astute political brain and he was dealt some horrible hands by circumstances beyond his control that just deepened the hole he was in. My own view of John has become 'Why go by the straight route when you can take a twisting one.'[/quote]

Towards the knightly classes and nobles, he was pretty ruthless when he had to be. But it also looks that he had some genuine ties of affection -- with his children, both legitimate and natural, his half-brother William Longespee, and there were men that he respected such as Rannulf of Chester and William Marshal. And it seems that towards the lower classes he did have a sense of justice. Certainly a very complicated king. And at least he wasn't ordering wholesale massacre like Richard was fond of doing!

I think it boils down to trust on John's part. As long as you didn't betray him,and you were aiming for the same goals as he was, he was tolerable. Once you start digging into the pasts of any of the monarchs of the medieval period, they tend to be on the ruthless and bloodthirsty side.

Post Reply

Return to “By Author's Last Name A-F”