A romance of the times of St. Bernard and of Queen Eleanor, both of whom figure in the story, the hero's fortune being interwoven with those of the gay young queen. The book brings out the enormous contrasts of the Middle Ages, the splendor of the great French and German barons with the abject misery of the poor of that age, besides being a vivid representation of a picturesque period.
d to think of riding home that night, was not in the least sleepy, and, moreover, she was profoundly interested in what Sir Arnold had to say, while he was much too witty to say anything which should not interest her. He talked of the court, and of the fashions, and of great people whom he knew intimately and whom the Lady Goda longed to know; and from time to time he managed to convey to her the idea that the beauties of King Stephen's court would stand in a poor comparison with her, if her husband could be induced to give up his old-fashioned prejudices and his allegiance to the Empress Maud. Lady Goda had once been presented to the Empress, who had paid very little attention to her, compared with the interest she showed in Sir Raymond himself. At the feast which had followed the formal audience, she had been placed between a stout German widow lady and an Italian abbot from Normandy, who had talked to each other across her, in dog-Latin, in a way which had seemed to her very unmannerly; and the German lady
A fairly Average read. Follows a young Englishman in the train of the King of France with a focus on Eleanor. The reason for his crusade is a particularly foul bit of betrayal. It can get bogged down in descriptive language at times. Worth your time if you are interested in the time period.