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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 7

ballads are not mine ; some I found in obsolete works, and one was versified from a legend of the Early Romancers. For the Tournament, and contest with the lion in Berengaria, I am indebted to the same veracious authority, though I cannot account for Richard's finding the Lion's Heart so conveniently situated at the bot-tom of the throat, except from the fact that " Physiology and Hygiene" had not then assigned the true position to the internal organs. I was very sorry not to make Joanna as interesting as Edith in the Talisman, but this was clearly impossible—first, from the fact that I had not the genius of Scott ; and second, because I made it my study to adhere strictly to truth. It was Saphadin and not Saladin who sought to ally himself with the princely house of Plantagenet, and I found it convenient to console his disappointment by bestowing upon him the fictitious lady I had brought to seek her fortune in the East. Michelet confirms this decision by his statement that this was emphat-ically the era of women, and that for some years a female exercised the sovereign power over the territories of Islamism. Blondell, upon whose very existence so many doubts have been cast, is, I think, a well-authenticated character, who "plays his part" with great fidelity and truth. Had I not been limited as to space, the ring in the hand of Vio-lante's grandson would have projected the catastrophe of the Sicilian Vespers. For the same reason, I could only allude to the strife be-tween the Guelphs and Ghibellines, to the civil wars of France and England, to the Crusade against the Albigenes, and the founding of the Inquisition by St. Dominic, when, in quest of heresy, he traversed the hills and vales of Languedoc, and doomed to death those brave spirits who dared to exercise the right of private judgment Eva is the only purely fictitious character of any importance in the work, and she was drawn from life, a portrait which some of you may recognize. Fuller, in his " Holy War," contradicts the legend of Eleanora's drawing the poison from Edward's wound, but adds, " he who shall disprove this pretty fiction shall get to himself little credit," and I confess I had not the courage thus warned to attempt it. X PREFACE.

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