Friday, February 08, 2008

Judith of France By Margaret Leighton

On the reccomendation of Algernon and his sister I recently read two books, the titles of which are Judith of France and Journey for a Princess. They were both very good, although I am still unable to decide which I like better, and I shall hereby attempt to write a post about them. Judith of France first, Journey for a Princess, hopefully to follow soon.

Judith of France was the great-granddaughter of Charlemagne the Great. However that magnificent king's line is no longer great. The sons of Charlemagne now wage petty wars between themselves, and it is for this reason, and for the pursuit of wealth and prestige, that Judith's father arranges a marriage for her. Heartlessly, he betrothes high-spirited, still teenaged Judith to the sixty year old king of England, Aethulwulf. Already weighed down with this news, Judith is told by the Archbishop of Reims that it is his belief that she is irrevocably doomed to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother, that is to cause strife and even war; "father against son, brother against brother". Frightened, confused and disheartened she brings the story to her tutor, bringing about one of my favorite scenes, where the latter tells her in much better words then mine that no man's future is set in stone, that choices can and must be made and that, with God's help, she can do what is right. Vastly relieved, she makes a vow never to be the cause of strife between family or friends. This vow leads her to many tough decisions and, which shape her story into an unusual, thought-provoking and satisfying tale.
WARNING: due to Judith's vow the story contains some slightly mature content.

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