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 otheras death as fire and water seek each otheras 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 aduel to end all duelsa in medieval France: a trial by combat pitting a knight against a squire accused of violating the knightas 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 aprovea which manas cause is right in Godas 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 husbandas 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 LeGrisas vociferous claims of innocence and doubts about the now pregnant Margueriteas charges (and about the paternity of her child), the deadlocked court decrees a atrial by combata 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 woundsabut 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.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 husbandas old friend and fellow courtier, of brutally raping her.
|Title||:||The Last Duel|
|Publisher||:||Broadway Books - 2004-10-12|