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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Heroines of the Crusades
page 6

and soaring in the clearer light of Christianity, scattered from her wing • the dew of refinement upon the barbarians of the North ; yet the general reader feels that his knowledge of them is so vague as to de-tract materially from his pleasure in allusions to them, and continually to force upon his mind a painful sense of ignorance upon points where he ought to be informed. In some measure to supply a deficiency which common history can-not obviate, to make the period of the Crusades interesting, by giving to it the tangible thread of authentic narrative, these biographies of the " Heroines" who inspired the troubadour, animated the warrior, or in person " took the cross," have, with much care and labor, been selected and compiled. The era opens about the time of the Conquest, when "William I., unquestionably the greatest ruler of his time, returns in triumph to Normandy. No two writers agreeing as to the age of his children, I have arranged them as best suited my purpose, making Cicely the eldest, the betrothed of Harold ; and the second daughter, Agatha, the bride of Earl Edwin ; and Adela, whose ambitious character is well authenticated, the Heroine of the First Crusade. The character and superstitions of the Saxons, with their love of " legendary lore," I have endeavored to embody in the early life of Maude, while I have endeavored to make her riper years illustrate the principles and piety of a teacher to whom you are all much attached. The half-infidel Hardrager, who was necessary to show both the plan of Battle Abbey and the causes and character of pilgrimage, might really have been the leader of the Assassins, since they estab-lished themselves in Mount Lebanon, and incorporated in their belief some of the doctrines of the New Testament about that period. Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the few women whose mature years in some measure atoned for a youth of folly. Agnes Strickland cites authorities to show that Fair Rosamond passed nineteen years in a convent, and died with the reputation of a saint. You will excuse me that I permitted death to cut her off in " her young beauty's bloom" to present a more affecting picture of the sad effects of guilt. The PREFACE. ix

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