Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Little Duke - Charlotte Mary Yonge

An inspiring story of Richard the Fearless (943-996) who became Duke of Normandy at the age of 8. Relates the perils of his childhood, both at home in Normandy and during his captivity at the court of France, and how at long last he came to embrace the values his father espoused.

Don't tell anyone but I had a bit of a problem with the 18th and 19th century Women Writers Challenge. I kept looking at the list I had chosen and I didn't feel like reading them. So I went browsing Project Gutenberg to see if I found anything that could count for the challenge and that interested me at the same time.

When I found this title I didn't immediately realise it was a story for children, what appealed to me was that it was a medieval story and I seldom resist those.

I really did like it and can totally see how it would appeal a child. The hero is a child, Richard of Normandy, who inherits the dukedom on his father's death while still a child. The little Duke (very well titled) becomes first a prisoner of King Louis of France and then, after escaping with the help of his loyal servants, allies himself with the Danes and manages to imprison the King who is later exchanged for his sons that Richard had met while at court.

Basically this is the story of a young boy becoming a man, controlling his emotions, conquering his desire of vengeance and fully embodying the Christian values of forgiveness and good will to others. Richard of Normandy would later be known as Richard the Fearless and the great-grandfather of William the Conqueror.

Grade 4/5


  1. This sounds like a very interesting little book. Even if it is for YA, I assume it would be a good introduction to him.

  2. Yes, it was. And to the political problems of the time.

  3. Now this sounds intriguing. I have a couple of Charlotte Mary Yonge's bigger books waitingfor me, so maybe this would be agood way to ease myself into her style. And I am having just the same problem with that challenge. 19th century done and dusted, but my 18th century books just aren't calling me.

  4. I'm glad I have company Fleur. Yes, this would be a good one to try her style. I hope you like it too should you decide to read it.


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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