Review of The White Company

Many people neglect Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s military and medieval fiction.  Prior to this, I have reviewed The Adventures of Gerard, which follows the sometimes grave and sometimes comedic adventures of a French dragoon during the Napoleonic Wars.  Now, I turn my attention to Doyle’s romance of the Hundred Years’ War: The White Company.  One senses that Doyle immersed himself in the period, both its history and its literature.  (In the preface to Sir Nigel, the prequel to this book, he lists some excellent resources on the medieval age.)  As far as this medievalist can tell, Doyle makes no factual errors on the equipment, weapons, clothing, economy, or habits of the people.

white-company

One does wonder whether he lets some of his ideas about the French Revolution get mixed into his description of the impoverished people of France and their wealthy overlords.  However, there can be no doubt that interminable war had reduced the people of France to a sorry state, even if not entirely reminiscent of late 18th century France.  One finds the character of the longbow men well delineated.  The chivalric attitudes of the nobles drop easily from the mouths of the characters, just as they would have from the knights of old.  At the same time, their chivalry adjusts to the real world situations in which they find themselves.

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C.S. Lewis & Humor – a 100% Politics Free Post

Mere Inkling

csl-humorHumor is an essential element of human existence. C.S. Lewis recognized that our very nature was molded to incorporate joy and laughter.

In a great article on the subject, “The Role of Laughter in the Christian Life,” Terry Lindvall introduces the subject with the story of an early Christian monk who wrote this truth.

In the fourth century, a monk named Evagrius identified key temptations against living the Christian life. He named eight of them, and they became the eight deadly sins. Now we know that Pope Gregory the Great reduced them to seven to fit them in with the symbolic biblical number.

But unfortunately the sin that Gregory conflated into sloth was the sin of sadness. Sadness in the face of God’s grace and mercy was a denial of faith and hope.

But it isn’t the vice that concerns me. It is its corresponding virtue, what Evagrius identified…

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