Montferrat Coin Knight-Life

Roman-esque: Novels set in the Middle Ages

Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, The Leper King

The Leper King - Zofia KossakThis is an interesting novel, although it has dated badly in terms of its historical interpretations: advances in scholarship sometimes leave historical novels beached. (I'm thinking particularly of the depiction of Agnes). Baldwin IV is sympathetically portrayed, but far too childish for his years: men, especially kings, grew up fast in the 12C.

There are some significant historical gaffes, however: the death of William Longsword is depicted as in a suspicious rock-fall (he was ill for a few months, probably with malaria), and the author seems to conflate Maria, Amaury I's widow, and Theodora, Baldwin III's widow. Some of the spellings of the names also take a bit of getting used to: Old French, translated into Polish then into English...

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