Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
Claiming that his daughter had been stolen away by the Flemings, the Duke of Brabant launched against Flanders a bloody seven-year campaign which eventually resulted in his defeat. Wolfort, the leader of the Flemish armies, inflamed by his military success and his popularity with the soldiery, usurped the earldom of Flanders, causing the flight of the child Florez, the true earl; his widower father Gerrard, a commoner; his sister Jaculin, who had been pledged to Lord Hubert; and several loyal noblemen. As time passed, Wolfort ruthlessly crushed resistance to his rule, and finally the entire earldom except the city of Bruges capitulated to him. Try as he might, however, Wolfort was unable to find Florez and the party of fugitives. As long as the rightful heir lived, Wolfort’s title remained insecure.
Although Hubert remained in Wolfort’s court, he could not forget Jaculin, and at last he resolved to go again in search of her. He was captured, however, and returned by the usurper’s soldiers. Wolfort received him honorably and, pretending to be overcome with remorse for his crimes, asked Hubert to seek not only Jaculin but also Florez and Gerrard, to whom he would restore the earldom. Although he suspected Wolfort’s sincerity, Hubert left for Bruges, where the loyalists had been reported. Hempskirke, one of Wolfort’s tools, accompanied Hubert on his mission.
In Bruges the merchants were agog over the success of one of their company, the...
(The entire section is 1180 words.)
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