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The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France

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The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As the huge crowd seethed with pent-up excitement, the two deadly enemies studied each other intently, their breath hot behind their visors. Each sought the other’s death as fire and water seek each other’s annihilation. The walled field, at first a prison, now became a crucible where one man would be destroyed and the other purged in the name of justice. They would fight not only without quarter, but also without rules. And a horrible fate awaited the lady if her husband should lose . . .

The gripping, atmospheric true story of the “duel to end all duels” in medieval France: a trial by combat pitting a knight against a squire accused of violating the knight’s beautiful young wife

In 1386, a few days after Christmas, a huge crowd gathers at a Paris monastery to watch the two men fight a duel to the death meant to “prove” which man’s cause is right in God’s sight. The dramatic true story of the knight, the squire, and the lady unfolds during the devastating Hundred Years War between France and England, as enemy troops pillage the land, madness haunts the French court, the Great Schism splits the Church, Muslim armies threaten Christendom, and rebellion, treachery, and plague turn the lives of all into toys of Fortune.

At the heart of the tale is Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight who returns from combat in Scotland to find his wife, Marguerite, accusing Jacques LeGris, her husband’s old friend and fellow courtier, of brutally raping her. The knight takes his cause before the teenage King Charles VI, the highest judge in France. Amid LeGris’s vociferous claims of innocence and doubts about the now pregnant Marguerite’s charges (and about the paternity of her child), the deadlocked court decrees a “trial by combat” that leaves her fate, too, in the balance. For if her husband and champion loses the duel, she will be put to death as a false accuser.

Carrouges and LeGris, in full armor, eventually meet on a walled field in Paris before a massive crowd that includes the king and many nobles of the realm. A fierce fight on horseback and then on foot ensues during which both combatants suffer wounds—but only one fatal. The violent and tragic episode was notorious in its own time because of the nature of the alleged crime, the legal impasse it provoked, and the resulting trial by combat, an ancient but increasingly suspect institution that was thereafter abolished.

Based on extensive research in Normandy and Paris, The Last Duel brings to life a colorful, turbulent age and three unforgettable characters caught in a fatal triangle of crime, scandal, and revenge. It is at once a moving human drama, a captivating detective story, and an engrossing work of historical intrigue.

Synopsis:

Presents a case of scandal, crime, and justice in medieval France, where a Norman knight returns from Scotland and finds his wife accusing an old friend and fellow courtier of raping her, the consequences of which led to a battle to the death.

Synopsis:

<p><i>As the huge crowd seethed with pent-up excitement, the two deadly enemies studied each other intently, their breath hot behind their visors. Each sought the other's death as fire and water seek each other's annihilation. The walled field, at first a prison, now became a crucible where one man would be destroyed and the other purged in the name of justice. They would fight not only without quarter, but also without rules. And a horrible fate awaited the lady if her husband should lose&hellip;</i></p><p>The gripping, atmospheric true story of the &ldquo;duel to end all duels&rdquo; in medieval France: a trial by combat pitting a knight against a squire accused of violating the knight's beautiful young wife.</p><p>In 1386, a few days after Christmas, a huge crowd gathers at a Paris monastery to watch the two men fight a duel to the death meant to &ldquo;prove&rdquo; which man's cause is right in God's sight. The dramatic true story of the knight, the squire, and the lady unfolds during the devastating Hundred Years War between France and England, as enemy troops pillage the land, madness haunts the French court, the Great Schism splits the Church, Muslim armies threaten Christendom, and rebellion, treachery, and plague turn the lives of all into toys of Fortune.</p><p>At the heart of the tale is Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight who returns from combat in Scotland to find his wife, Marguerite, accusing Jacques LeGris, her husband's old friend and fellow courtier, of brutally raping her. The knight takes his cause before the teenage King Charles VI, the highest judge in France. Amid LeGris's vociferous claims of innocence and doubts about the now pregnant Marguerite's charges (and about the paternity of her child), the deadlocked court decrees a &ldquo;trial by combat&rdquo; that leaves her fate, too, in the balance. For if her husband and champion loses the duel, she will be put to

About the Author

ERIC JAGER holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has also taught at Columbia University. An award-winning professor of English at UCLA, he is the author of two previous books, including The Book of the Heart (a study of heart imagery in medieval literature) and numerous articles for acclaimed academic journals. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767919616
Subtitle:
A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Author:
Jager, Eric
Author:
Eric Jager
Subject:
Western Europe - General
Subject:
History-Western Europe - General
Subject:
History : Western Europe - General
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Wager of battle.
Subject:
Dueling
Subject:
Crime
Subject:
Scandals.
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
Legal History
Subject:
France-Medieval and Renaissance
Subject:
World History-European History General
Subject:
World History-France
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20041001
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
242

Related Subjects

Biography » Royalty
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » France » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Sports and Outdoors » Martial Arts » General

The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France
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Product details 242 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767919616 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Presents a case of scandal, crime, and justice in medieval France, where a Norman knight returns from Scotland and finds his wife accusing an old friend and fellow courtier of raping her, the consequences of which led to a battle to the death.
"Synopsis" by , <p><i>As the huge crowd seethed with pent-up excitement, the two deadly enemies studied each other intently, their breath hot behind their visors. Each sought the other's death as fire and water seek each other's annihilation. The walled field, at first a prison, now became a crucible where one man would be destroyed and the other purged in the name of justice. They would fight not only without quarter, but also without rules. And a horrible fate awaited the lady if her husband should lose&hellip;</i></p><p>The gripping, atmospheric true story of the &ldquo;duel to end all duels&rdquo; in medieval France: a trial by combat pitting a knight against a squire accused of violating the knight's beautiful young wife.</p><p>In 1386, a few days after Christmas, a huge crowd gathers at a Paris monastery to watch the two men fight a duel to the death meant to &ldquo;prove&rdquo; which man's cause is right in God's sight. The dramatic true story of the knight, the squire, and the lady unfolds during the devastating Hundred Years War between France and England, as enemy troops pillage the land, madness haunts the French court, the Great Schism splits the Church, Muslim armies threaten Christendom, and rebellion, treachery, and plague turn the lives of all into toys of Fortune.</p><p>At the heart of the tale is Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight who returns from combat in Scotland to find his wife, Marguerite, accusing Jacques LeGris, her husband's old friend and fellow courtier, of brutally raping her. The knight takes his cause before the teenage King Charles VI, the highest judge in France. Amid LeGris's vociferous claims of innocence and doubts about the now pregnant Marguerite's charges (and about the paternity of her child), the deadlocked court decrees a &ldquo;trial by combat&rdquo; that leaves her fate, too, in the balance. For if her husband and champion loses the duel, she will be put to
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