On this day in 1189, Richard I of England was crowned at Westminster. He was known as Richard the Lionheart for his military courage even before he became king. Legendary leaders rely upon loyal men. For Richard I, it was William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, "the greatest knight". William was shaped by the events of his childhood. His father, John Marshal, faced a moral dilemma regarding William during his service to Richard's predecessor, Stephen I.
|King Stephen gave Ludgershall Castle to John Marshal|
William's dilemma is the subject of Elizabeth Chadwick's A PLACE BEYOND COURAGE:
The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper. John FitzGilbert is a man of honor and loyalty, sworn to royal service. When the old king dies, his successor rewards the handsome and ambitious John with castles and lands. But King Stephen has a tenuous hold on both his reign and his barons, and when jealous rivals at court seek to destroy John, he backs a woman's claim to the crown, sacrifices his marriage, and eventually is forced to make a gamble that is perhaps one step too far.
Rich with detail, masterful in its storytelling, A Place Beyond Courage is a tale of impossible gambles and the real meaning of honor.
|King Richard gave Pembroke Castle to William Marshal|
Although that one step too far and the real meaning of honor is an infamous moment in medieval history, you must read this book to visualize it through Chadwick's prose. I posted my review of A PLACE BEYOND COURAGE on Goodreads at this link. Sourcebooks is giving away a print copy of A PLACE BEYOND COURAGE plus THE GREATEST KNIGHT (William's story) to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about a title you would give yourself, for example, I am the Kim, the Countess of Cats (as I volunteer with a cat rescue).
2. Sourcebooks' giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. I'll giveaway a Hawaiian Royal souvenir to one international reader.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, September 8, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 9.
Kim in Hawaii
To learn more about Elizabeth and her books, check out her website at elizabethchadwick.com.