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The Brethren – A Tale of the Crusades

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 607
  • Category: Crusades

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It  is  a  norm  with  all  novels  to feature  heart  pounding  action , and exotic  mysteries  and  epic  fantasies  and  in literature  we find  these  traits  in stories  and  adventures  of  medieval  knights . For  instance  the  stories  of  King Arthur  and his  twelve  knights  are  so  famous  that  they  have  been  immortalized   forever .

Sir  Henry  Rider  Haggard  was  not  a  great  artist  in  anyone’s  estimation ,  least  of  all  his  own.  Still  less  was  he  a  great  writer  of  short  fiction ; one  seeks  in  vain  for  his  name  in  critical  surveys  of  the  short  story of  the  nineteenth  or  early  twentieth  century .  By  far  the  greater  part  of  his  fictional  output  was  novels – more  than  fifty  novels , as  opposed  to  three  volumes  of  shorter  fiction – and  amongst  these  numerous  novels  is  The Brethren  – A  Tale Of  The  Crusades . The  Brethren  offers  us  an  captivating  tale  into which  enters  the  essential  virtues  and  vices , emotions  and  actions  of  the  Christian  Crusaders  the  Saraeen , and  the  Arab  of  the  mountains .

The  narrative  begins  with  Salah-ed-din, Commander  of   the  Faithful  brooding   over  the  ways  of  god in  his  palace  at  Damascus . He  dreams  about  his  niece  Rosamund the  daughter  of  an  English  knight  and  Zobelde , Salah’s  sister  who  had  been  borne  away  to England  by  the  knight . Salah-ed-din  then  plans  how  he  can  secure  the  possession  of  his  niece  who  according  to  his  dream  promises  to   become  the  peacemaker  between  the  two  races  ” I  am  come  to  save  the  lives  of men  through  you , ”  she  answered ; ” therefore  was  I  born of  your   blood , and therefore  I  am  sent  to  you . Put  up  your  sword ,  King ,  and  spare  them . “

 He  ultimately arranges for a ship and  sends  it to  England with  a  mission  and orders to invite her  to come  to  the  Levant  and  take  up  her  royal  inheritance . He  gave specific  orders  to  his  commissioners that  should  gifts  and  promises  fail  to  convince  the girl to do his will, then  the  commissioners  were  to  use force, strategy , and  even  treachery  to  accomplish  their mission .

In  England  Rosamund  is  greatly loved   by  two  brothers,  each  declare  their   unconditional   love  to  her  , but  before  she  can  reveal  her  choice  the  Saraeens  arrive  on  the coast  of  Essex  and  carry  her  off .  The  brothers  agree  to  bury  their  personal  rivalry  in  their  endeavor  to  rescue  her  from  the  hands  of  Salah-ed-Din  .  How  they  succeeded  and  yet how  Salah-ed-Din’s   dream  comes  to  realization ,  and  which  of  the  Brethren   she  chooses ,  forms  the  motif  of  the  narrative . This  in  turn  is related with  that  splendid  genius  of  constant  suspense , that  admirable imagination , that  magnificent  panorama  of  dramatic  scenes  which  are characteristic  of  this  writer.

The  Middle  Ages  were  dangerous  times . A  split  in  religious  beliefs  caused  feuding . These  wars  fought  over  religious land  were  called  The  Crusades . Through  an  analysis  of  the  people ,  places ,  times  ,  results ,  religions  and  relevance  of  the  crusades  in  today’s  society  it is  obvious  that  crusading  is  probably  one  of  the  worst  ideas  ever.


A Bibliography of the Works of Sir Henry Rider Haggard 1856-1925. Takeley: Elkin Mathews Ltd. 1947. 258 SS.

The New York Times Published : December 31,1904 Copyright The New York Times

Project Gutenberg Titles by H. Rider Haggard (Haggard, H. Rider (Henry

                                                                                  Rider), 1856-1925)

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