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An Antic Disposition
par Alan Gordon
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This fifth entry in Gordon's medieval fool series isn't really a mystery. Instead it is an alternate view of Hamlet (Amleth), set in 1157-1177 AD Denmark. Well-written, with just the right amount of similarity to and difference from Shakespeare. Denmark is in the process of becoming a united kingdom but still has areas where the majority of the population is not Christian, so it is an interesting setting. ( )
We could use a Fool's Guide in the 21st century.
Fifth in the “Fools Guild” medieval mysteries featuring Feste the fool, this one is actually in the form of a story told by Father Gerald, the current head of the Guild, to the children around the campfire at their new headquarters. It’s a story that features Gerald, but tells of ‘other fools’ in Denmark circa 1150’s as the different factions struggle for power. It’s a tale of treachery and loss, of how fools (i.e. spies) are recruited and trained, and how very surprising they can sometimes be. This is mostly the story of Amleth, who was the son of one of the princes or faction leaders who was murdered and betrayed by his wife and his power-hungry brother. The only one who seemed to care about Amleth was Yorick, the court fool, who trained him to juggle and play the lute and about all the other things fools generally do, like sneaking around and listening at doors. Then one day, Yorick just disappears without so much as a by your leave. When Amleth is sent to Paris to study, he packs Yorick’s bag of tricks with him and seeks training with the Guild there using the secret password that Yorick has taught him and manages to stay alive through cunning for many more years. I absolutely love this series! Alan Gordon does a wonderful job of drawing you right into the story, getting you to care about the characters, and setting the scene for whatever time period and place he’s writing about. This is one of the few series I collect in hardcover and that I know I will be reading again someday even though I already know what happens—the period detail and the stories are irresistible and I suspect will be just as enjoyable the next time around.
In 1204 A.D., The Fool's Guild, on the run from an enraged Innocent III and the Papal troops, has established a secret guildhall in the Black Forest. While laying low, one of the great stories of the Guild's history is revealed.
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Classification décimale de Melvil (CDD)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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