My Lord Brother The Lion Heart Author:Molly Costain Haycraft Joan, daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine--and favorite sister of Richard Coeur de Lion--was twelve when she married William, King of Sicily. It was a happy marriage; William was king and Sicily was beautiful. In those days a queen might never see her original family again, and when the Kings' Crusade began Joan knew herse... more »lf fortunate indeed to be looking forward to her brother's arrival. The Crusade was to be something of a family affair: William of Sicily, Richard of England, and of course Philip of France.
But in the twelfth century life was quite as uncertain as it is in the twentieth. Awaiting Joan were adventures and misadventures, widowhood at twenty-four, danger and battle, pestilence and betrayal, and a kind of love she had never dreamed existed. She was to wander through Europe in a very unroyal disguise, suffer and laugh and despair, and find herself in strange places. Joan is a girl to fall in love with--with those detested freckles across her charming nose, with her gaiety, her good sense, her courage, the impulsiveness that so often leads her into trouble.
And of course, there is Rick, My Lord Brother the Lion Heart, who is, in all truth, one of history's most beguiling characters. And there are Berengaria, Richard's young bride, good and sweet and flowerlike; and Raimond de St. Gilles, gallant and impatient; and Blondel, Richard's friend and companion in song; and a host of other personalities, good and bad.
Against the background of the Kings' Crusade, with its brutalities, agonies, and splendors, Molly Costain Haycraft has woven a story that is as rich and colorful as a medieval tapestry, and has enabled us to see it, live it, with Joan herself. "In telling this tale," the author says, "I have needed to invent very little--for the truth, in this case, is much stranger than fiction." But the artful fiction writer is the one who breathes life into facts, as Mrs. Haycraft has done, and brings alive such real people as Richard and Joan, who might otherwise remain mere names in a history book.
My Lord Brother the Lion Heart is indeed a book to be enjoyed by all--both the young and the young in heart.« less